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Your strong feelings didn’t stop the virus. If only there was some other way. (opinion)


by Hugh Jackson, Nevada Current
August 1, 2021

Vaccine hesitancy can be sincere. There are people who have concerns, which in turn are being stoked by misinformation (have you heard the one about how the vaccine makes you magnetic?). Still, lately some of those people have determined that getting the shot is the right thing to do for themselves, their families, and their communities after all. Hopefully their example will inspire others who are still on the fence.

But this isn’t about them.

This is about the people who are actively hostile to the vaccine because they view their anti-vaxxism as part of an ideological crusade against radical liberal socialism or whatever.  They can be eager distributors of misinformation, perhaps because they find it compelling but also because it is ammunition to be gleefully discharged into yet another culture war battlefront. It might be the most asinine popular collective endeavor embarked upon by people since the end of World War II.

In the U.S., many of these people are the same sort of folks who have spent the last few years proudly sporting pro-Trump t-shirts and bumper stickers that say “Fuck your feelings.” They giggle over rote invocations of the phrase “liberal snowflakes,” and marinate in Schadenfreude whenever Trump does or says something intended to “own the libs.”

Ever since Trump rode down his escalator, a strain of commentary and mainstream news coverage has operated on the premise that everyone should tip-toe ever so lightly around his faithful legions. That sentiment is on display now in the form of hoping calm and reason and politeness – maybe even cash and prizes! – will coax the vaccine-hostile to change their minds, roll up their sleeves, and get a shot.

Yeah, it’s a dopey idea.

If people want to go to work at a job that puts them in a room with other people, they should have to get vaccinated. They should also have to get vaccinated if they want to go to lots of other places, including but not limited to a football game, a show or a concert, a college classroom, an airport…even (gasp!) a casino. The sooner we move further in that direction, the sooner this insidious virus gets behind us.

More and more companies and government agencies or departments are adopting vaccine mandates, typically accompanied with an alternative where workers must pay for weekly tests out of their own pockets. That no doubt especially hurts the hair-trigger feelings of those who are ideologically and politically hostile to the vaccine, and who have no higher priority than sticking it to the libs. Tough. They’ve done more than anyone to make vaccine mandates necessary.

Besides, the virus has never cared about their feelings, or those of the “liberal snowflakes,” for that matter, and never will.

Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: [email protected]. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.

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