Tagged Typoid Mary

The Vaccine

The Mona Lisa getting her COVID 19 shot

To be or not to be…? To be or not to be vaccinated, that is the question?  I am shocked by the number of people I consider intelligent human beings that are not going to get the vaccine. The number of people that are not going to get vaccinated will prevent the nation from attaining herd immunity! That is more than selfish! I have been a physician for over half a century, and I am convinced this vaccine is as safe as it can be. Having been in the military and traveling worldwide, I have been vaccinated for pretty much everything and am still alive. I was not affected by Mercury or Formaldehyde poisoning, and had just a little fever with some of them. I am sure that no government agency is tracking me either (unless, of course, I wear my aluminum foil helmet that transmits the signal to the secret location of the trackers –just kidding). The benefits outweigh the risks by a wide margin.  You are more likely to be killed by lightning (lifetime risk 1 in 15,000), or a drive to the corner grocery store (lifetime risk 1 in 100).  The most dangerous vaccine, Johnson and Johnson, has killed 1 in 3,500,000. Yet you are still at risk for getting the virus that has a mortality of 1% to 10% depending on where you live, how old you are, and what other co-morbidities you have. The overall mortality from COVID-19 in the US is currently 1.8%, which included one of my best friends while he was waiting his turn to be vaccinated. The anti-vaccers are opposed to any vaccine based on sparse or false evidence of the dangers of the vaccine.  The vaccine-hesitant are just not sure. There are two vaccine averse demographics that have very little in common except that they do not trust the government, the white Republican males, and the African Americans.  The latter bring up Tuskegee. The white male Republicans have a relentless distrust of government.

I do believe that anyone who does not want to be vaccinated should not be forced to be vaccinated. What should be injected into your body should remain your right to decide.  But at the same time, I believe that you have no right to subject others to the risk of getting infected by your virus. If you are not vaccinated, you have a higher risk of getting the virus and passing it on to others that have or have not been vaccinated.  I am not opposed to Vaccine Passports to prove that you have had the vaccine.  Those should not be government-mandated.  Various governmental agencies, including Dr. Fauci, have claimed that there will be no government-issued passport.  By the same token, I will not fly in an airplane full of unvaccinated people. I want all my fellow passengers to be as unlikely to infect others and me as possible.  Nor do I want to sit next to unvaccinated people in a restaurant, a theater, or a sporting event. These services have the responsibility to tell me if they do or do not require vaccination. Although it is still possible to be vaccinated and be a carrier, being vaccinated makes that very unlikely (kind of like Twilight Zone). I believe that private businesses have a right to demand that consumers of their products be unlikely to pass on their viruses.  By the same token, each business must decide whether to demand customers be vaccinated or not frequent their premises. But they have an obligation to let me know what they do. Businesses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone—no shirt, no service, or in this case, no passport, no pizza. I, the consumer, then can choose to frequent or avoid that business. The only way to implement this is to show your Vaccination Passport, which is far less intrusive than the scarlet letter “A” tattoo on the forehead (in this case, “V”). I do believe in rights, but I also have a right to be as safe as possible.

Typhoid was a major killer in the 1900s.  Public Health tracked down the source, Mary Mallon, a.k.a. “Typhoid Mary,” who spread the typhoid bacillus.  She had been imprisoned once before because she caused several deaths from Typhoid, and they warned her to stop being a cook, a waitress, a spreader of the disease, but she did not.  She went “underground,” moved, and changed her name. Finally, the only choice was to imprison her again.  She died in 1938, having been confined for a total of 26 years. The people that refuse to get vaccinated but still want to fly in airplanes, that want to go to restaurants, movies, and sporting events are like Typhoid Mary. Showing proof of vaccination is much less of an imposition than quarantine or imprisonment. But if it comes to that, there really are no other choices. And it should be ironclad so that you cannot get a forged passport on the “Black Market.” If you do, Typhoid Mary’s fate should be your fate because, like Mary, you show no regard for your fellow human, nor do you respect what the best current knowledge is. We are social beings and therefore have an obligation to do what is in the best interest of our fellow humans and not injure or infect them.  

Freedom is a constitutional right given to all of us, but it does not permit abandonment of your constitutional responsibility not to harm others.