I was fortunate to be receive dose one of the Moderna mRNA vaccine this week. It puts me on the path to a 95 percent likelihood of being protected from current variants of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2).
But of course the pandemic is much bigger than my individual safety. A vaccination benefits the individual, sure, but the potential positive outcome would be downright amazing for society if we vaccinate in sufficient numbers. Small pox, polio, mumps, measles, rubella vaccines have literally saved millions of lives. When guided by scientific policy, humans come out ahead! Even after vaccination I will continue to mask as recommended by the CDC. Frankly, I anticipate masking in public alongside ongoing vaccinations will remain the most compassionate and rational thing to prevent ongoing outbreaks, perhaps for years to come.
Sadly, in this age of science, the conspiracy theory reigns. Too many people believe in spooky explanations and rationalize against compassionate, science-backed recommendations. Indeed, our country has oversold personal liberty at the cost of true patriotism. Patriots take a measured risk and sacrifice a fraction of their liberty to preserve the greater community. Alas, lies are the tool of the side who wants their opinion to override evidence based solutions. Time will tell how great the damage this ideal will cause. Unfortunately the human species as a whole continues to demonstrate their lack of concern for the planet they live on, inclusive of the well being of their fellow humankind.
Furthermore, as our population nears 8 billion, we continue to devastate the overall health of Earth's ecological systems. Among many bad outcomes, the trampling of wildlife habitat stirs new pathogen strains into human society. Subsequently, billions of unnecessarily factory farmed animals across the world provide jam-packed multitudes to mutate and strengthen new virus and bacteria strains that will readily hop into human hosts. The general public's science and compassion education seems too often over. When we prioritize sustaining a pyramid economy driven to overproduce at any cost, billions of humans and non-humans, and the Earth as a whole, suffer.
Perhaps the human species is simply reaping its just desserts. Perhaps our civilization needs to suffer a catastrophe of multiple pandemics and famines and water shortages and rising oceans to learn a hard lesson. Sometimes it feels like human society will inherit the punishment it deserves, but we have no right to drag other species into he darkness with us.
Good global stewardship is the only positive path forward. It will be challenging to navigate the best path forward. To be sure, as individuals we want each person to be free to choose for themselves (within reason), so when a choice as important and clear as getting vaccinated presents itself, it behooves us to make the most informed, compassionate choice possible. Given all the information available, the conspiracy misinformation evaporates. Society benefits most when we all choose to get vaccinated as soon as we are able, and not just against Covid-19, but against all communicable diseases for which an effective vaccine exists.
Your duty is wield liberty bravely for the benefit of all humans and the world at large. Consult your doctor as needed.