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Functioning brain cells

COVID-19—playing the indiscriminate odds



Have you ever had the urge to play Russian Roulette? It's a simple game, full of suspense, hope and dreadful anticipation. The rules are simple. Load a revolver with one bullet, spin the cylinder, place it against your head, and pull the trigger.

Sounds like fun, does it not?

The odds are straightforward. You have a 1 in 6 chance of blowing your brains out. Who wouldn't take those odds? You also have a 6 in 6 chance of proving you're an idiot, not afraid of playing the odds that you have a 5 in 6 chance of walking away unscathed. You could probably tweak that accomplishment a little and put it on your resume to impress your potential employer. Or at least use it as bragging rights over a drunken night of slamming shots in a seedy bar. The two scenarios seem about as equally brilliant. Or maybe coexistent.

What does this have to do with COVID-19, you ask?

I'm not a doctor, but I have a couple of functioning brain cells. I know (knew) a half-dozen people who died either directly or indirectly over the past 15 months as a result of a COVID-19, and a bunch of others who got very sick.

It was heartbreaking. None of them deserved it. Then, the vaccine arrived quickly and was highly effective against all odds (even though researchers had been working on the concept for decades). Hallelujah! We could finally fight this horrible pandemic with high expectations of success. All we needed were shots in arms. Unfortunately, as we all know by now, all too many Americans have decided to ditch their few remaining functional brain cells in favor of Russian roulette. Whether the reason is political, abject stupidity, selfishness, or just plain arrogance is beyond my comprehension.

I'm infuriated with the so-called "anti-vaxxers" who think public health does not apply to them. Too bad their moms and daddies made the decision to protect their precious little ones against polio, measles, mumps, and rubella before they had a say in the choice. Imagine the world we would live in today.

With a very small exception for people who have a legitimate reason not to get vaccinated, I find zero empathy for the "not me" crowd. If they were only playing Russian roulette with their own health, I could chalk it up to ignorance and let them weed themselves permanently from society.

Unfortunately, that's not reality. Carrying the virus is similar to Russian roulette with one notable exception to the rules: You're not only pointing the gun to your head, you're pointing it to anyone you ever encounter with blatant, selfish disregard to the consequences.

To make matters worse, I would argue you're also violating another premise of Russian roulette. Instead of one bullet, the chamber is potentially loaded with four or five.

How do you like those odds now? More importantly, how do think the people around you—acquaintances, innocent strangers, or loved ones—like those odds?

Use your brain cells. For something other than a lethal target and collateral damage. Δ

Brenda Carol is from San Luis Obispo. Send a response for publication to letters@newtimesslo.com.

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