Thanks, Anti-Maskers and Anti-Vaxxers, for Keeping COVID-19 Alive

First off, this post is not a criticism against any person who cannot—for reasons of personal health or safety—wear a mask or receive a vaccine. Some of us are too young to get vaccinated. Some of us have serious allergies to the vaccines. Some of us are forced to keep our airways open in a manner that would make mask-wearing unhealthy or unsafe. If you find yourself in one or more of those categories the feel free to ignore the criticisms written below. But, on the other hand, you might find yourself in agreement with the main point. After all, when the rest of us wear masks and get vaccinated we protect those of you who can’t.

This post is aimed at those individuals who, mainly for political reasons, refuse to wear masks or receive a COVID-19 vaccine. By choosing that selfish approach, they are placing themselves and many innocent people at risk (namely the people cited above who aren’t able to wear masks or get vaccinated). More importantly, by allowing COVID-19 to continue to spread, they are encouraging further mutation of the virus, perhaps encouraging a new strain that will not be stopped by the vaccinations.

We’re already experiencing the scourge of one of those mutations: the so-called Delta variant. It might never have come into existence had the virus been nipped in the bud by 100% participation of the U. S. population in masking and vaccination six months ago.

But alas. Too many Americans confused “my freedom to take the risk of getting sick” with “my freedom to take the risk of making everyone around me sick.”

It’s sort of like smoking, except that in the case of COVID-19, the smoke is invisible and odorless. Those marching around with a mask and without a vaccination are like those smokers who choose to light up in closed vehicles, rooms, or public spaces, spewing out toxic substances on those innocent folks who happen to be captive prisoners. Except, in the case of COVID-19, there’s no cloud of smoke to warn innocent folks to steer clear.

I understand why some people might be hesitant to put unknown chemicals into their bodies; however, my problem with that line of thinking is that the COVID-19 virus is itself an unknown chemical. Politically motivated anti-vaxxers are, in effect, arguing that the chemical composition of the vaccine is more dangerous than the chemical composition of the COVID-19 virus. Not a compelling argument, I’m afraid.

So, while most of us have gone ahead and gotten the vaccine, we’re forced now to endure a new mutation and who knows how many future mutations all because people would rather trust COVID than our public health professionals.