To Vax or Not To Vax?
That is the paradox…
The paradoxes and the dichotomies we’re experiencing lately seemed improbable, not even thinkable. For almost a year, we — and by ‘we’ I mean mostly people in the so-called Western world/America, meaning the continent, sorry— have been expecting anxiously at would be our eventual and ultimate salvation of the pandemic: vaccines, to be spared of both the illness and death.
Or so we thought. So I thought, for one. I remember reading, just some months ago, that in this pandemic even traditionally anti-vaccine people were very probably looking forward to them too — for once and for a change — , presuming that in the face of such a contagious and deadly illness, they would be more than eager to see their lives kept safe. Those assumptions are proving too subjective. ‘We’, after all, is a wide universe.
In my country, vaccines are not only common but compulsory, mostly controversy-free; at least among my own generation and the ones immediately prior and next. Yes, we have learned about Big Pharma conspiracy cases and I personally reckon the huge business behind… but I wouldn’t have liked to have gotten polio as a young girl, no. Neither would my husband and I have left open any tiny possibility for our children getting the measles, however dirty and dishonest a business might be behind my kids’ vaccines.
Now that we— most of us, mostly reasonably soon — are so close to getting the drops of hope, I’m reading about countries, or large numbers of the population in some, that simply won’t get vaccinated, choosing not to be inoculated… either because it’s their choice, or they might contain microchips, or they’re dangerous, or the coronavirus doesn’t really exist, or it does but people will overcome it naturally, or the State is exceeding the use of their power over them, or so many people already have become immune that they’re not even necessary anymore.
The last two cases refer to what I have read this week: France and India, specifically. In the case of France, it’s a country that traditionally has been wary of them for generations. I happen to know this first hand. The French mistrust the government — in general, but this one in particular on this topic, because of its early contradictions — and they also distrust Big Pharma. Period. So unpopular are vaccines and their advocates, that these latter ones are being targeted viciously, their lives actually in danger.
India’s case is different but paradoxical. It’s probably the world’s biggest producer of vaccines, and their instance is not due to intrinsic mistrust of their government, but it seems to be rather a lack of interest in or high indifference towards getting vaccinated because people feel that the danger is way gone, and the worst over. Doctors themselves are not showing enough regard, setting the wrong example. So even if the number of cases is indeed in decline, herd immunity is still far away, just inaccurately perceived.
“By denying scientific principles, one may maintain any paradox.”
— Galileo Galilei
I remember the strong yearning in our hearts, in the 80s and 90s — when I was young and beautiful, oh those days! — , for an AIDS vaccine. So why is this happening now? Why won’t people choose the gift of health and survival? Why haven’t we learned anything from the eradication and near eradication of so many deadly and handicapping illnesses during the last century?
Can’t tell, dear reader. It’s an intriguing thing trying to understand others’ minds, individual or collective, even if this challenge happens to be so massively collective: it’s not only their own self — body, life — that each individual in these anti-vaccines clusters affects by refusing them. Sadly, not.
I just read something about how to handle politics-oriented family conversations, without killing each other! The bottom line, what stuck in my mind more strongly is that hard data does not necessarily convince anyone when emotions are involved, as is the case now. Not hard data. It’s something else, somewhere else.
Whatever that is for each, and more importantly, for most.