There is no vaccine for ignorance.

Pandemic day 374

You might have noticed the numbered days in this series of pandemic-related blog posts. Recently I changed “zero day” which also required that I change the numbering on each post.

Previously, I was not counting from 11 March 2020. That is the date on which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID19 a global pandemic. Rather, I had been counting from the first day the pandemic affected me personally. That was only a few days later on 13 March 2020. It was the last “normal” school day before the school district I serve entered their first prolonged shutdown. That was the first day of this strange new reality.

The FDA recently authorized the third COVID19 vaccine for use in the United States: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID19 Vaccine. Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, requires only one injection and does not require ultra-low temperature storage. These considerations allowed a greater number of people in my area to receive a vaccination.

I thought there was some fitting symmetry that exactly one year later on 13 March 2021, I received my COVID19 vaccination. It is some measure of relief to me that this vaccine, combined with ongoing efforts to prevent transmission (such as wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and social distancing) might keep me alive a little longer. While these measures reduce the likelihood that I will succumb to COVID-19 I still suffer from the underlying conditions that put me in at increased risk from COVID-19 in the first place.

COVID-19 is probably here to stay.

I wish I could say that the development and deployment of several different vaccines marked the end of this pandemic. I wish I could say that but I can’t because a large percentage of Americans refuse to do those things which help prevent transmission of the virus. Vaccines can help to prevent viral Infection, but there is no inoculation against ignorance.

There are people who refuse to wear masks. Some claim to have a medical exemption.

Think about that. These people claim to have a respiratory condition so severe, that they cannot breathe properly while wearing a mask. Then I simply have to ask … why are they out in public during a pandemic which causes severe acute respiratory disease?

Some people refuse to wear a mask because they believe being ordered to do so violates their rights in some way. They don’t seem to understand that privately owned businesses are not signatories to the Constitution. When you enter a business, you agree to abide by their terms and conditions. You don’t have the same rights in their space as you would in a public forum. A business that opens its doors to the public is not the same a civil service conducted in a publicly owned space.

These are the same people who think capitalism is synonymous with liberty.

We have have a new President … no. There is no “we”, not anymore. The United States has a new President and a new administration. There are people in key positions now who actually believe in science. Maybe there are now those with the will to prevent the uncontrolled spread of this virus.

One year later we have a vaccine which may prevent viral infection. There is however no inoculation against ignorance.

20 MARCH 2021

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