The Anti-Vaxxers, by Rich Paschall
By now you have probably seen plenty of stories of anti-vaxxers who got the coronavirus and are now dead. Maybe you saw family members tearfully crying on the late-night news. They wished they had been able to convince their loved ones to get the vaccine. I saw one woman being consoled by the news reporter because she was so distraught at being unable to convince her mother to get vaccinated. The stories are more frequent as more people die of the disease. They felt strongly that they had the right not to get this particular vaccine. They made the wrong choice.
The coronavirus deaths are on the rise again and the unvaccinated are at risk. We hit a low of just 37 deaths on Independence Day but we have driven it up to 2366 on September 21st. It is on the rise and other countries again believe that perhaps they should keep Americans out. The European Union has advised their members to restrict travel and only allow in essential workers. In other words, keep the tourists out. Sweden, Norway, and Bulgaria have opted to keep Americans out. Other countries have strict rules for entry.
As of this writing, 699,748 people have died of COVID-19. Some may argue that of the “closed cases” of the virus, that is only two percent. What it really speaks to is the vast number of people catching the virus. No matter how you rank that number, it is a lot. The Associated Press studied over 18,000 Covid deaths in May and 99.2 percent of them were unvaccinated. Pennsylvania Department of Health reported that since January of this year, “97 percent of COVID-19-related deaths were in unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated people.” Seattle and King County in Washington reported that unvaccinated people are 7 times more likely to test positive for Covid-19, 49 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 32 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than vaccinated people.
We could fill pages with statistics that tell you between 98 percent and just about everyone who dies of COVID-19 is unvaccinated. There is now an astounding body of proof the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and can save your life. Yet as of September 21 only 55 percent of Americans have been fully vaccinated. This, despite the fact that the vaccine is readily available to all. In the early days of the vaccine rollout, you had to work hard to get an appointment. Now you can walk into clinics and pharmacies and get the shot almost any time.
A Texas couple attended a week-long church camp. Afterward, they tested positive for the coronavirus along with other family members. The husband died of coronavirus. Two weeks later so did the wife, Lydia Rodriguez. She had a dying wish. “Please make sure my kids get vaccinated,” she told her sister. Lydia, a nurse, did not believe in vaccines. She left behind four children.
Martin and Trina Daniel of Savannah, Georgia were married for twenty years. Both were unvaccinated. They died within hours of one another. They left behind two teenagers who planned to get vaccinated.
An Old Town, Maine couple, Robert and Barbara Finch died of COVID-19 shortly after celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary. They were not vaccinated. The son said, “This wasn’t real until it hit close to home.”
An Alabama couple, Dusty and Tristan Graham had a YouTube channel “Alabama Pickers” with over ten thousand subscribers. They talked against the vaccine on their channel. “I’ve got my own passport. It’s called the Bill of Rights,” Dusty said. They died three weeks apart. Their channel was taken down, but others have posted videos in support of the couple. They left behind two children.
Florida radio host Marc Bernier called himself Mr. Anti-Vax. He enjoyed a long career at a Daytona Beach radio station and spoke out against the COVID-19 vaccine. “I’m not taking it … Are you kidding me? Mr. Anti-Vax? Jeepers.” The conservative broadcaster is now dead of the disease.
There are countless stories of anti-vaxxers who died of the disease, but no matter how many of these stories appear in the news, a huge number of Americans still resist getting the vaccine that might save their lives.
Why is this happening? In recent years anti-vaccine groups are on the rise and organizing politically. In an opinion piece in the New York Times, a science journalist explains, “They have taken common-sense concepts — that parents should be able to raise their children as they see fit, and that medical decisions should be autonomous and private — and warped them in ways that have set back decades of public health advances.”
They are backed by broadcasters and social media “influencers” who use their various platforms to mislead the public. Some of the misconceptions that are firmly believed by some people are those that will ultimately kill them. You have to ask yourself about the education level of a country that has over 100 million people who are not vaccinated when the life-saving vaccine is free and readily available. You also have to ask about the motivations of those broadcasters who continually mislead their followers.
Sources: “Update: Travel To These European Countries Just Got Harder For Americans,” by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher. forbes.com September 6, 2021.
“Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the US are now among the unvaccinated,” By CARLA K. JOHNSON and MIKE STOBBE, apnews.com June 29,2021.
“Vaccines Work: 97% Of COVID Deaths, 95% Of Hospitalizations And 94% Of Cases Are Among Unvaccinated Pennsylvanians,” Pennsylvania Pressroom, media.pa.gov, September 14, 2021.
“NEW DATA DASHBOARD TRACKS COVID-19 RISK FOR UNVACCINATED PEOPLE COMPARED TO VACCINATED PEOPLE,” by Gabriel Spitzer, publichealthinsider.com September 3, 2021.
“US Coronavirus vaccine tracker,” usafacts.org, September 20, 2021.
“This Is the Moment the Anti-Vaccine Movement Has Been Waiting For,” A mom of 4 who died of covid days after her husband makes one final wish: ‘Make sure my kids get vaccinated’,” By Andrea Salcedo, washingtonpost.com August 18, 2021.
“Unvaccinated couple die of COVID-19 hours apart, leaving behind 2 teenagers,” By Emily Shapiro, abc7chicago.com August 18, 2021.
“Old Town husband and wife die from COVID within days of each other,” by An Alabama couple who trashed vaccines on their YouTube channel died from COVID-19 within 3 weeks of each other,” by Kenneth Niemeyer insider.com, September 17, 2021.
“Florida radio host who called himself ‘Mr Anti-Vax’ dies of Covid-19.” by Martin Pengelly, theguardian.com August 29, 2021