Opinion » Shredder

'Rona fatigue

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Raise your hand if you're super sick and tired of the novel coronavirus affectionately known as COVID-19. Wow, I haven't seen this many hands in the air since Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three dropped "The Roof Is On Fire" in 1984.

"Throw your hands in the air like you just don't care. We don't need no water let the mother#

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@%$er burn! Burn, mother#@%$er, burn."

Except we do need water and we want to put this mother#@%$er known as COVID-19 to death. The question is how far are we willing to go? How much more inconvenience are we willing to endure to save lives?

As of late, news stories about the vaccinated "losing patience" with the unvaccinated have exploded. How do we get those suffering so-called "vaccine hesitancy" to take the plunge? Should we reward the irresponsible? Should we bribe the ignorant?

That seems to be what's happening in a new press release from the city of San Luis Obispo that announced it would offer $25 gift cards for each dose of the vaccine received "from a county of San Luis Obispo Public Health Clinic or mobile vaccination clinic." Hey, where's my 50 bucks? I got jabbed twice, like, three and four months ago!

Apparently, if you've been shirking your patriotic duty to help your community reach herd immunity or if you've been too dumb up till now to believe that vaccines are safe and effective, we'll give you money. Sheesh!

"While I hope the gift cards are a helpful motivator," SLO County Public Health Director Dr. Penny Borenstein said in the press release, "the true value is being protected from the cost and suffering of COVID-19."

Duh. Apparently Penny and the Public Health Department read this column because two weeks ago ("Stingy, snotty, stupid," July 22) I asked—and I quote myself—"Wouldn't it be great to have some data about current COVID-19 cases in SLO County, such as the percent of new cases among those vaccinated and unvaccinated, including hospitalizations?"

Well, that very same bribery press release laid down the stats: "Data shows that since Jan. 1, 2021, residents who are not fully vaccinated have represented 98.5 percent of COVID-19 cases, 97.5 percent of hospitalizations, and 99.2 percent of deaths in SLO County."

I know these numbers can be hard to comprehend when your online anti-vaxx "research" tells you over and over that vaccinations a) cause autism (they don't), b) haven't been fully researched (they have), c) are just a profit scheme for Big Pharma (how's that free COVID vaxx doing?), or d) vaccine injury is common (nope, exceedingly rare). For the record, a new study showed that most anti-vaccine conspiracies online originate from the same 12 people and their organizations, which have been dubbed the "disinformation dozen."

I mean, sure, you can believe these bad actors using your paranoia and ignorance to line their pockets, or you can believe the American Medical Association, which recently reported that 96 percent of all practicing physicians in the U.S. are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. And those remaining 4 percent? Almost half said they plan to get their vaccination. That means about 98 percent of all physicians believe in the power of vaccines.

One more math problem: Do you want to trust vaccine advice from 12 unqualified people or should you believe 980,000 or so doctors who trained for 11 to 16 years? Hmm, puzzler, amirite?

Now go collect your $50 in gift cards, slackers. Protecting yourself and your community is worth the potential sore arm and next-day mild COVID-19 symptoms, which by all accounts are much less distressing than being intubated on a ventilator.

And speaking of math and other academic subjects, K-12 schools will reopen this fall, but students, teachers, and staff—regardless of vaccination status—will all be required to mask up indoors, which makes perfect sense as the Delta variant continues to thwart our attempts to squash the pandemic, and children under 12 remain ineligible for vaccination.

Most county school districts are happy to comply with this state of California mandate, but in a weird and ironic twist (not), some North County school districts and parents are none too happy with the mask requirement. Surprise, surprise!

"They're living their lives and they're healthy," parent Christa Abma said of her unmasked children at a July 22 Atascadero Unified School District board meeting. "Let our bodies work how God designed them to work. We're strong. We'll overcome this."

I guess God designed 607,881-and-counting Americans' bodies to die after contracting COVID-19. Let's pray Ms. Abma's children have the "good" design, eh?

Look, if parents don't want to send their kids to school if they'll be required to wear masks, by all means, keep your kids at home and let them do independent study, which is an option.

Here's the thing: These same parents who are complaining about a mask mandate are most likely the same parents who complained that schools were shut down in the first place. Well, now they're opening, but your kid has to wear a mask for the safety of others. Get over it.

Around the world, people desperately want to receive the vaccine, but here in the U.S., where everyone has free and easy access, holdouts remain. Sigh. Δ

The Shredder avoids the unvaccinated and washes its gears regularly. Sent comments and suggestions to shredder@newtimesslo.com.

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