Isn’t it something? We live in an age of medical and technological wonders and have the knowledge and means to solve any number of seemingly intractable problems, from climate change to plagues, but we don’t, because we still can’t fix stupid. We can identify stupid from the hats and the bumper stickers but we can’t seem to stamp it out before it spreads.
So now we have a plethora of perfectly useful vaccines for a rampant virus but no way of cajoling enough people into protecting themselves, and the rest of us, with them. Like, we could end this thing tomorrow if we had the collective will. But even if we were able to slip the stuff into the drinking water, it wouldn’t work, because so many people don’t have access to clean water. The ancient Romans could manage it, but that was before billionaires were invented, and profit must be made.
You can’t put vaccines in water anyway, but the only reason you’re not hearing that the Deep State is planning to do it is that it seems so much more likely we’ll have it sparkled into us from space. There’s no end to how dastardly a liberal–read Jewish–billionaire can be.
You didn’t encounter this kind of obstinacy when the polio vaccine was developed. People were kind of simple and uncomplicated about things back then. Polio bad. Thank you Drs. Salk and Sabin. Please give me sugar cube. Now, we’re sort of done with measles chickenpox diphtheria polio smallpox whooping-cough tetanus hepatitis and even the dag-gone mumps, and there are so few real things that we have to worry about we need to invent them, just to get our understimulated little chests to rise.
People used to band together to fight their foes but now we’re all on our own, 330 million armies of one. Some people would never get a vaccine on principle, that principle being freedom, or some toddler’s version of it. Others would rather wait and see how it turns out. “Wait and see” is not a reasonable plan from a public health standpoint when time is of the essence with a still-rampaging mutating microbe, but many people are suspicious. Look how quickly Trump got the vaccines developed, they say. Wasn’t he wonderful? On the other hand, it was way too quick to trust. Let’s see how many people drop dead from the vaccine first! We can stack those bodies up here, and the COVID Hoax bodies over there, and see which pile looks scariest. That’s science, right there. That’s just using the old bean.
One fellow who got COVID and has no intention of getting the vaccine explained it this way: “I had a fever for a couple days. I don’t think it’s the bogeyman they made it out to be.”
A half million others were unavailable for comment.
Black people, as a demographic, have a well-founded historical distrust of the medical establishment but seem to be coming around to the advisability of vaccination. Republicans have a distrust of the truth. And they don’t trust government ever to do the right thing. Which, considering the last four years, is almost reasonable.
Can’t fix stupid. You can fix ugly, but it takes a face mask. So. Back where we started.
What we're seeing is Darwinism at work: the stupid people don't get the vaccine, so they are more likely to get Covid and some of them may die. Maybe Nature is adding a splash of chlorine into the gene pool.
You'd think, but it doesn't work so smoothly when the people who die are already past childbearing age. What MIGHT help is thinning out the Republican voters so we can get some #$*& done about climate change.
So well said, Murr. I just saw the statistic yesterday that 49% of men who identify as Republican will not get the vaccine. I'd like to say something mean here, but won't. Anyway, I very much enjoyed your piece here, you're a terrific writer.
Hey, Dug… I gotcha covered; I said the mean thing (see above) for you. Glad to provide an essential service!
Haha–thanks Mimi! And well said too 🙂
Evil Murrmurrs Minion.
Going to the moon was a hoax, too, don't forget. How have we gotten so collectively stupid so quickly? As an old white man I feel like I am swimming upstream against other old white men and I am afraid I will be infected by the Stupid Virus that so many of my peers seem to have succumbed. An anti stupid vaccine wouldn't help much because those who need it the most wouldn't take it.
Space beams, my boy, space beams…
I think that the problem was people growing suspicious of education and science. They think that the educated are the "elite", and they look askance at them. What we NEED is more education, especially in science. Probably LESS "education" in "creation theory."
It's all been focus-group tested and refined and the Koch brothers have funded it, and we're seeing the results.
These tenets from the Creed of the American Right-Wing Rank-and-File are relevant:
3) I promise to believe absolutely anything, no matter how absurd, self-contradictory, or destructive to myself or anyone else, as long as the statement is preceded by "I hate the same people you hate, and those people we both hate are responsible for everything you don't like about your life, school, city, state, country or planet."
8) Nobody smarter or better-educated than I am should be in charge of anything.
Sigh. Over here we have people saying that potential difficulties with one vaccine are sufficient reason to stop them all. Just a few people so far, but stupidity is very contagious.
The internet is a virus swamp.
Amazing how people are anti-science and still not living in caves.
And won't be separated from their phones.
In addition to the anti-vaxxers, one of whom I am apparently married to, it's turning out that male human fertility is in steep decline. I say, good. I had a conversation with a religious nut recently in which I offered the thought that the eradication of Homo sapiens would not be so bad. Maybe a new species of sapiens could evolve. A better one. He was stunned into near silence for a few moments…No matter what men wrote down and called "the bible", we are most definitely not made in the image of god. If we had, he might have made us all look the same, eliminating the scourge of racism. Now that would be holy as hell.
One facet of the human condition is certainly the belief that humankind is special. Not all that evidence-based, but whatever. By the way, I know exactly what God looks like because he's in the Sistine Chapel, and I say, hubba hubba!
If sperm counts are decimated, it's all to the good, I say. I read that births have gone DOWN with the pandemic (which surprised the hell outta me!) because people are afraid to go to the hospital. It's a start, 'cause there are WAY too many people on the planet and it's growing exponentially.
I would have thought births went down because people couldn't stand each other anymore.
Yeah… there's probably a bit of that, too….
The Anti-Science/Stupidity movement is a Religion. QAnon is also a Religion. Trumpism is a Religion.
The sooner we see that, the better we will understand that you cannot argue with them, one cannot win a religious argument.
Absolutely true, not to be argued with. In face-to-face meetings, the best plan is to give them no energy at all, positive or negative, and then light up again when they say something normal. Don't feed the dragon!
Murr, As an aside, did you know that the Mary Poppins song line, "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down" refers to the Sabin polio vaccine? This tidbit of knowledge from NPR.
I did not, but I always hated the Mary Poppins movie, because I'd read the book and Mary Poppins wasn't ANYTHING like Julie Andrews!
Books are ALWAYS better than movies. I can cast actors in my head much better than "casting directors" do.
I read the first two, and Mary Poppins was pretty horrible. I don't understand why the kids wanted her to come back. The movie was much better.
Oh, she was a terror! I can't remember any of the plot but there warn't any spoonfuls of sugar.
Salk was a needle; Sabin is the sugar cubes. As a child of the '50s I got both.
I, like many others, think wistfully that it would be nice if COVID-19 did some culling. Unfortunately, viruses don't seek out victims based on red hats and low IQs. I fear the end result of people refusing the vaccine is that the virus will go endemic — it'll become seasonal, like influenza, and will pop up unexpectedly in odd corners. For me the big question is how long the vaccine will be good for. Is it going to become an annual thing, a once every few years, or one set of shots and you're good indefinitely? I have a vague memory of Tony Fauci talking about boosters maybe being necessary a few months down the road, but who knows?
Exactly. Which is why the ignorance that is keeping people away from the vaccines is so important. Time is important. Can we vanquish this thing or will we stupid our way into some perpetual nuisance?
We have the vaccine available here now, but in far less quantities that are needed, so I'll continue to stay home being careful until more is made and distributed. I'm not getting crushed in the stampede of over 70's all trying to be the first. Online bookings are already a mess as so many GP practices just aren't partaking in the stabbing of people. Out of 84 possible clinics only one is administering vaccine, they have very few doses and there are over 2300 elderly wanting (demanding) them. I'm in the next age group after them, but I'm still happy to wait even then until there are plenty of doses available.
Okay, that sure sounds like a lame roll-out, but let me just point out here that a stampede of over-70s is not all that scary a thing.
You sum it up very well Murr, but with good humour, which is a rare thing right now. I tend to lose my sense of humour when I get angry.
I do in person. That's one reason to write! (In a little room, with time to edit out the bile…)
I was a “Polio Pioneer” in the 50s. My mom signed us up in grammar school to be experimented on. Scads of kids got injected. Some, like me, got the real vaccine, and others like my brother, got the placebo. We all got ribbons to pin on our shoulders to show how brave we were. Can you imagine this happening today?
I was just sitting in the "Watch you for 15 minutes in case you plotz" area of the vaccination center and the woman behind me was talking about being a Polio Pioneer! First I heard of that. Glad you got the real thing. I was a Shingles Vax Pioneer but there aren't any ribbons for that. My sister got polio shortly before you volunteered and ended up dying of it at age 70. We take vaccines seriously in our family!
I feel all of your frustration about stupid. I'm surrounded by it here and it's so selfish and ignorant and offensive to me.