Stop the Madness

Photo Credit from CDC

When it comes to most matters, I’m one of those people who can typically see both sides of an issue. For example, I don’t own a weapon, but I understand and respect the right of others who own a gun to protect themselves or use a rifle for hunting. I believe an organized society needs fair laws that protect its citizens, and we need the police to uphold those laws. I am a big supporter of law enforcement. I generally think they do an excellent job doing a difficult task, especially given their decisions must happen in a split second. The actions of a few bad ones shouldn’t cloud our judgment of the profession as a whole. At the same time, we can’t bury our heads in the sand as some officers use their positions of authority in abusive ways. 

Photo Credit to Kindel Media

I have friends of all political persuasions and understand good people can have honest differences of opinion.  We have to be able to accept that not everyone is going to think the way we do. Over the last decade, I have noticed a change in the way people talk to one another. For some, this means insulting and calling people names without hesitation. Let’s not pretend that this only happens on one side of the political landscape.  Have our standards sunk so low that we can’t treat each other with human decency?

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It’s hard to get the news these days without a biased point of view.  Whether I’m watching CNN or Fox, I know I’m getting information through their lens.  One only has to switch the channel back and forth for five minutes to see how each can take the same event and have a completely different spin. While I like to know what is happening globally, there continue to be fewer sources that report the news unfiltered and unbiased.

Everywhere we turn these days, it seems bad things are happening. The pandemic has now raged on for seventeen months.  Climate change continues to create havoc. Last year there were a record number of acres burned in my state (California) from all of the wildfires; this year, we’re ahead of that pace.  Many people have lost their homes or their lives.  It’s staggering, and we continue to get hit time and time again. The same is true all over the western United States. If that’s not enough, there’s Afghanistan, Haiti, hurricanes, crime, homelessness, drug abuse, mental health, stress, etc. The list is endless. In a sense, we’re being worn down physically and emotionally from all of the sadness and negativity.

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One of the other manifestations of not seeing the other side of the coin is that people get entrenched in their positions to the point where they stop looking at things objectively.  We always want to feel that we’re right or know better than others who don’t think the same way we do.  This is the point where much of the name-calling originates.

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As critical thinkers, we continuously gather information.  Here comes the challenging part—do we have the ability to change our opinions, or are we so stubborn in our thought process that we continue to hold onto our beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence? Evaluating and analyzing are two of the higher-level thinking skills that allow us to revise our opinions.

I’m a guy of reasonable intelligence, but I know many people in the world are far more intelligent than me.  One skill I possess is the ability to admit when I was wrong.  Sometimes it’s not even a matter of being right or wrong; it’s the act of changing my opinion after getting more information. 

Here are two concrete examples that better explain what I’m talking about: 

Andrew Cuomo—At the start of the pandemic, I gave him high marks for how he handled the pandemic. As time passed, I revised my opinion of not only his performance but also his character.  Call me old-fashioned, but is it too much to ask our politicians to exhibit good character? I don’t want to start listing a bunch of other individuals guilty of similar misdeeds, but we know it’s not limited to one side of the political spectrum.

The point is I revised my opinion based on credible information.  That’s what critical thinkers do. They consult reliable sources—not outlandish ones that exist to inflame their bases with wild conspiracy theories. We have to rely on the experts—those who don’t have a political ax to grind. When I have a significant automobile problem, I take my vehicle to a mechanic.  Just because I know how to put gasoline in my truck and change the oil doesn’t mean I can rebuild an engine. That’s why we consult professionals.

Seat belts—For many years, I didn’t wear a seat belt.  I didn’t have a good reason not to; it was more of a habit than anything.  If I ignored the warning bell long enough, it went away. I was driving home one day when I got pulled over by the police. I knew I wasn’t speeding and couldn’t understand why the officer stopped me. As he started walking up to my car, I realized I wasn’t wearing my seat belt and quickly put it on.  What followed was a rather embarrassing conversation where the cop politely and professionally told me that he had pulled me over because I hadn’t been wearing my seat belt. 

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Rather than act like a little boy and pretend that I’d been wearing it all along, I sheepishly accepted the ticket.  After he drove off, my first thought was, What a dumb law!  I’m not harming anyone. Why should I have to pay a ticket for this? The problem was that I knew the police officer was only doing his job. As I thought about it more, I realized my decision not to wear my seat belt affected others. What if I had gotten in an accident and died because I wasn’t wearing my seat belt? My choice would have affected many others, including my wife and my son. Should my wife have to bury her husband and be forced to deal with the emotions that come with losing a loved one? Should my son have to grow up without a father because his dad made a poor decision? What if the EMTs and hospital staff had to use precious resources because I was too stubborn to put on my seat belt? I had to admit, “I WAS WRONG.” 

I illustrate this anecdote for a reason. I have kept silent for the most part since Covid began, but I can no longer do that.  Like others, I had a few reservations about getting vaccinated.  I’m not the type of person who picks up antibiotics at the first sign of a cold.  Maybe the vaccines were rushed without proper vetting? Perhaps all of the medical experts are wrong?  Maybe the media is creating a lot of unnecessary drama?  I don’t like big government; I like the freedom to choose.

It’s time for the unvaccinated to consider, do individual rights take priority over the greater good? I think it’s a fair question—not one to provoke or insult. At some point, it may be necessary to revise our opinions based on what we’ve learned. It’s no more severe than the flu. We now know that isn’t true. Approximately 4,500,000 people have died worldwide from the Coronavirus. Well over 600,000 of those people were in the United States alone. Yeah, but those numbers are inflated!  We may never know how accurate they are, but is there any denying that too many people have passed? Yeah, but the vaccinated can get the virus too!  That’s true, but only a tiny percentage of them are dying.

Those who refuse to change their stance have to be aware of the enormous strain on our hospitals, doctors, and nurses. They are risking their lives each day going to work.  Some have thrown in the towel. Our local newspaper just reported that four of our nurses in the ER quit, unable to continue at this unrealistic pace.

Photo Credit to Cedric Fauntleroy on Pexels

What about those with other serious medical problems who have difficulty gaining admittance because our hospitals are bursting at the seams with Covid patients? At this point, all credible evidence shows us that vaccines and masks work. The overwhelming majority of medical personnel (not biased news sources) tell us to vaccinate and mask up. Are there those who recommend otherwise? Yes, but take that with a grain of salt. Some people still think the Holocaust, moon landing, and Sandy Hook never happened.

There have been many times throughout the pandemic when I thought people would eventually see the only responsible thing to do was get vaccinated.  When President Trump got Covid, I felt that others might start to believe.  When family, close friends, or neighbors passed, I thought it would make people act. When some of the most conservative influential spokespeople advised it was time to get vaccinated, I hoped it might be a turning point.  Now that the FDA has officially approved the Pfizer vaccine, I prayed it might move the needle for some of the holdouts, but somehow, they think they know better than the experts.

We were lulled into a false sense of security when young people weren’t getting sick initially, but that has changed with the variants. If my child died and I wasn’t vaccinated, I don’t know how I’d live with myself.  The guilt would be overwhelming.

I’ve kept quiet as long as I could, but I can’t do it anymore. One of my neighbors recently passed who was quite vocal in the beginning that “Covid was all fake.” I want to respect his family’s privacy by not getting into specifics, but this was not an older person with previous medical problems  Not getting the vaccine with all of the information we now possess is as irresponsible as drinking and driving, reckless driving, texting while driving, or driving blindfolded. Do the adult thing and get yourself vaccinated. There have been far too many preventable deaths already. Please stop the madness.  

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128 thoughts on “Stop the Madness

  1. Very good Pete

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 12:48 pm

      Thank you, Norma. Stay safe out there.

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  2. Pete, thank you for this in-depth overview of all that is being thrown our way right now in our little world. From the start, I haven’t kept quiet during the pandemic, and I will continue to shout to all who have ears, “get vaccinated!” I’m sure many of us were hesitant about having the unknown pushed into our arms, but we did it for the greater good, and because we wanted to live, for so many reasons. Afraid? Of course. Even with the fact that I’m now seeing tons of folks end up in the ER or their doc offices with unusual heart issues, I’m anxiously awaiting my 3rd vaccine. I was one of those folks with an unusual heart irregularity out of the blue that concerned my doctor, but again, I’d take my chances any day rather than ending up in an over-crowded hospital on life support, regretting my decision not to have gotten a shot in my arm.

    I won’t hold my tongue and will say this… if someone chooses to not get vaccinated and something awful happens, I wouldn’t feel sorry for them one bit.

    People are dying. Our family members are dying. Our children are dying. Our neighbors are dying. And these poor healthcare workers, they have given too much… way more than they ever signed up for. It’s time to consider something other than just yourself.

    Yes, it’s your “choice” to be or not to be vaccinated, but your choices are infringing on the rights of others to simply live.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 12:55 pm

      I wish I was more optimistic about all this (I’m generally an optimist), but I have friends entrenched in their positions. What I see happening is that institutions will begin mandating the vaccinations, but this will lead to those who feel their individual rights of freedom are being taken away becoming more resistant. It’s mind-boggling how public health has become such a controversial subject.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 12:56 pm

      Thanks for checking in, Dorothy. Continued good luck and health to you and your family.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We are living in dark, dark times: we were already in a world of “alternate facts” when the pandemic hit. We can look back and see why it became the politic madness it became, but since we are still in it, it’s more important to address the anti-tax movement, which is causing so much unneeded disruption! We could be fully back to a “new normal” world that is open again – if only we stopped reacting to hate instead of truth and came together to tackle this as one. Sadly, hundreds of thousands of people have died already unnecessarily, and more to come. Their right not to be responsible? NO, because by refusing to fight this virus, they bring death to those around them as well. There is objectivity and there is subjectivity – sadly, no one can tell the difference any longer, or simply doesn’t care. Sorry for the rant, but I completely agree with your POV here…we all have rights, yes. And we all have responsibilities as well – a free society expects it as a tradeoff for that freedom.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:00 pm

      You don’t need to apologize for stating your case and strong feelings, John. I completely understand as someone who has bottled up my feelings about this for a long time. I have a hard time standing by give any credibility to these wacky conspiracy theories.

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      1. And it is causing people to die…their choice but they infect those trying to be safe as well..and for NO logical reason

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  4. We have all now accepted laws that curbed our ‘freedoms’. Age of consent for sex, seat belts, no smoking in pubs, wearing crash helmets on motorbikes. Unfortunately humans are not easily persuaded to do things voluntarily for the greater good so laws come into being, usually with a struggle and campaigns.

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:06 pm

      You list some excellent examples of other public safety measures, Janet. The right to use tobacco products is particularly noteworthy. While clearly not being a wise health choice, if someone decides to do that, I suppose that is their right. It’s when those choices, such as smoking in a public place where others have to breathe the second-hand smoke, infringe on others that it crosses the line.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I couldn’t agree more, Pete. The time to stop the madness is long overdue.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:19 pm

      I keep waiting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s pretty discouraging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s very discouraging. I’ve pretty much given up thinking that the people who are perpetuating the pandemic will ever listen to reason.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you 100% Pete! Watch for post on Views shortly. As for seat belts, I got onto them fairly early on. Had I not, there were a few instances (not because of poor driving by me but by someone else) where I might have found my head into the windshield or my chest into the steering wheel. Glad to hear the cop stopped you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:22 pm

      It’s hard to quibble with any laws in place that protect us, yet many folks still do. What’s next? Should people be able to ignore speed limits, stop signs, and stop lights because it infringes on their personal liberty?

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  7. Hear hear, Pete. On the subject of accuracy of deaths, I tend to hunt out the excess deaths figures as these seem to be a better guide to how different nations are doing, coping with Corona, given each country counts Covid deaths differently. As Lisa points out above, there are no inviolable human rights, even the right to life is compromised so people getting hung up that their rights mustn’t be curtailed by, say, being mandated to wear a mask or get a vaccine are missing the point. having and curtailing these ‘fundamental’ human rights is what makes a civilised society work. Mind you, that curtailment needs to be curtailed too! In principle I’m all for freedom of speech, for example but accept there have to be some limits (and I’d make the point that free speech is very different from correct speech with which certain sections of society seemed obsessed to the detriment of us all). Ah me, such a hot topic… maybe I’ll go and debate with Dog…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:45 pm

      Thanks for your thoughtful response, Geoff. Freedom of speech is a perfect example—there are limits.

      On another topic, how will you keep yourself occupied now that you don’t have any weddings to plan? It does give you more time to debate things with Dog.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’ll try and fill my days, Pete. Somehow, with my wife I doubt languishing will be allowed for long…

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    2. Poor dog, Geoff. he’s going to get ear plugs [smile]. I agree that freedom of speech is important provided that freedom doesn’t damage someone else in some way.

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      1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 12:46 pm

        That’s my view also, Robbie. Play your music as loud as you want as long as it doesn’t bother other people. Have a drink if you want, but don’t get into an automobile and drive drunk.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Indeed so, as long as the concept of what constitutes damage is both narrowly drawn and objectively assessed against the general normatives of our society. I think that rules requiring certain dress codes, be they for men or women are absurd and often abhorrent and I will do all I can to ensure that they hold no sway in this country; however I accept there are many communities where to suggest otherwise is equally abhorrent. The damage here is not in the opinion, or expressing it but if such rules are enforced rather that voluntarily adopted by individuals. At least that’s how I see it. I’m happy to be offended!

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      3. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 5:23 pm

        I think where most people get their dander up, myself included, is when government oversteps its bounds by legislating things that need no legislation. Dress codes are so subjective that I would question someone’s authority to determine how others should dress.

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      4. Agree Pete. Controlling what people say though is a greyer and trickier area.

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    3. I wasn’t thinking of that sort of thing, Geoff. I don’t care how people dress or do their hair although we do have rules in my place of work about dress. I was thinking of hate speech. That can never be tolerated.

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      1. I am a great one for definitions, Robbie! You can take the boy out of the law but not the law out of the boy.! We’ve had teachers accused of using hate speech when seeking to discuss the Charlie Hebdo issue and showing the cartoons that so offended some in France. The authority suspended them under pressure from some parents. For them it was hateful to insult both Mohammed and Christ, for others like me it was a tasteless cartoon and didn’t deserve to be published originally but having been published and triggering such a response it was worthy of a class discussion. Where does insulting someone’s deeply held beliefs become hate Speech? It’s a very hot topic for sure.

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  8. I was going to bring up smoking, but see it here already. I will add that when people were forced to smoke outside in the cold or bad weather (or not at all in public places) the shift slowly happened and now “No Smoking” is completely the norm everywhere – at least in the U.S. It worked. I like the vaccinated-only approach where they alone can go to concerts, restaurants etc. Like smoking, that pressure would work, albeit over time, and it’s time we don’t really have. In terms of the political tribal culture, it is horrendous out there. I, too, try to acknowledge both sides and take the best ideas from both. Isn’t that how our Congress was supposed to work once upon a time? I’m pretty naive I guess. Lastly, I watched a program recently where a gentleman was saying that if you really want to stretch your brain, intelligently argue the other point of view you typically take. That is an eye (and mind) opener. Thanks Pete for your candid views on many topics here today! I enjoyed reading it.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:54 pm

      What an interesting concept to argue for an opposing viewpoint! I’m not sure what the answer is to government, but what we are doing is clearly not working. People say that they will work with the other side, and then they get to Washington and see it’s a completely us vs. them mentality. I find it quite frustrating that we can’t take on serious problems in a more level-headed way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is definitely not working, and I fear it will only get worse. It’s troubling. You really struck a nerve here Pete. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. So well said-thank you

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 1:56 pm

      Many blessings to you and your family, Beth. Keep having fun with those grandchildren. I think we need to see grandma leaping off a bridge next.😎

      Liked by 1 person

  10. An excellent post, Pete, and I agree with just about all you say. Sadly, I think there are too many people who don’t have the ability to process information, check its source for reliability, and accept that they may have been wrong. The only thing in your whole piece that I could take issue with is your opinion on gun ownership: not being from the US I haven’t been brought up in a culture that finds this acceptable, and I can see no reason for anyone to own a weapon. Hunting animals is wrong. Killing other human beings is wrong. But, like a lot of things, money is at the root of this evil, too: it buys the politicians.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 2:12 pm

      Thank you for your eloquent opinions, Clive. You and I are probably not that far apart on gun control legislation. My major problem is when assault-style weapons get into the hands of ordinary citizens. It’s hard to justify why anyone needs that for personal use. I used to go duck hunting with my dad when I was a kid, though it was more about spending time with him as I never shot any ducks. I wondered (though I guess I never asked him why) how he reconciled hunting with his job. He was a wildlife biologist for the federal government who worked with protecting endangered species.

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      1. Hard to justify? I’d have said it was impossible: I can see no logic to it at all. Maybe you should have asked your dad that question – it would have been an interesting conversation!

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  11. Well put, Pete. I completely agree with you.

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 2:20 pm

      We are definitely overdue for some good news in the world. Happy writing, Darlene!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Well said, Pete. One would hope the natural selection process would take care of the problem but unfortunately, too many of the rest of us will have to bear the cost.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 4:00 pm

      It seems like there should be some things in life that we can all agree on, including the safety of the people who live on Earth. I’m amazed that this issue continues to cause such controversy. It seems like a no-brainer that we’d want to protect our loved ones.

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      1. I don’t get it at all.

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  13. so well said, Pete, and I agree with everything you say, except I am with Clive on the gun issue. I think all guns should be completely outlawed.

    anyway, back to the vaccination issue. I don’t understand why people are against the vaccine, but it’s really hard when it is a close family member…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 4:20 pm

      Thank you for expressing your opinion, Jim. I’m not a gun owner, nor do I have any fascination with them. I think if people can own them responsibly (perhaps I’m dreaming) then I accept others’ rights to own one, even though it doesn’t match my own philosophy. It’s hard to imagine a world without guns, but I’m looking at the issue in a practical sense. Can we come up with gun legislation that will offer some type of compromise?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that the first step is some set of common sense gun laws; but it’s hard to find common sense these days…

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  14. Excellent post, Pete. I grew up in a time where we had to have polio, smallpox, and diphtheria immunizations before going to school. My parents never questioned it – they saw that I was immunized. The entire anti-vax movement scares me. I just read where a vaccine clinic in George had to shut down because the workers were being bullied and threatened by the anti-vaxxers. This is NOT acceptable behavior.

    I work in a hospital (not on the front line) but I deal with COVID numbers daily. Just yesterday a patient was admitted for COVID. He told the doctor, “I wish I had gotten the vaccine.”

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 4:25 pm

      One of my former students, a father of eight, said that having Covid (he was never sicker) changed his anti-vax opinion. I have family and friends who are frontline workers. It has to be awfully discouraging for them to deal with this problem day after day in horrible, life-threatening conditions. No one should have to give up their life because someone else refuses to get vaccinated.

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  15. I feel your anger. I have difficulty with all those who refuse to be vaccinated. How much more proof do they need? Then there was a news story this week about people buying and taking horse dewormer to prevent Covid. It was so bad that the suppliers had to remove the product from the shelves. People will take something for a horse but not approved for humans but not get one of the vaccinations that all the world’s scientific resources focused on in order to keep them safe.

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 5:15 pm

      It’s wild how some of these ideas get started and then take on a life of their own. Sometimes it’s just kooks who can easily be dismissed, but at other times I see what seem to be otherwise educated people buying into some of this nonsense.

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      1. I read a good response to this stupidity: if you buy horse workers make sure to get neutered or spayed at the same time…

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      2. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 10:06 pm

        😊

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  16. I’ve been vaccinated, will get the booster, but I respect the right of those who don’t want to be vaccinated. Most of them are concerned with the long-term affects of such a new vaccine. Thalidomide comes to mind–a 1960’s miracle drug for pregnant women that it took a decade–longer?–to determine to be the cause of severe birth defects.

    Just a thought

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 6:53 pm

      I understand their concerns as I had some of my own, but it came down to math for me. Do I take the risk of taking something that isn’t 100% proven, or do I improve my odds of staying alive? I feel compassion for anyone who has lost a loved one throughout this trying time in history.

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      1. That is why I chose to take the vax. Still, my personal choice needn’t be everyones. These are difficult times. I am bothered that those who insist on vax rarely give credence to those who can’t take the vax, those who had the disease and don’t need a vax. Doesn’t make sense to me but still–it’s their right to an opinion.

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    2. HI Jacqui and Pete, this is a concern for young people who haven’t had children yet particularly. My son, Greg, had the J&J one off vac which is a viral vector as opposed to an mRNA jab. The mRNA jabs are probably fine but as he is so young, we went with the viral vector jab for now. Once they have more data, he can always get a booster shot of the Phizer. My mom is fully vaccinated, my dad, my husband and I are all half vaccinated. We get our second jab on 12 September. The third wave was very bad here in SA. I know people who died, young men with families. I know more men who died that women. Two of my close friends have long covid. A terrible disease. Many South Africans will not be vaccinated because they have been told that it causes infertility. A lot of our people are quite superstitious and they follow what their tribal leaders tell them to do. It is very sad because we are going to get another wave. South Africa has a new variant which is more contagious and, I understand, it also is resistant to the antibiotics that are being used to treat covid-pneumonia. One of the biggest issues with people not being vaccinated is that when unvaccinated people become infected, the virus can mutate, this puts vaccinated people at risk of new variants. I am really hoping I can get my Michael vaccinated soon. I want him safe or at least safer.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Interesting feedback, Robbie. I hadn’t thought about the impact of superstitions.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. All of this is a touchy, weary, frustrating subject around here. We have one stubborn one and two procrastinators in our extended family. Our numbers are also rapidly increasing on our pristine little Island. I have too many thoughts and a great deal of emotion on this subject to put together a comprehensive comment, Pete. You write an excellent post. You are speaking to the choir here. Does an innocent child who has no choice have to get seriously ill, or worse….. before the stubborn and the procrastinators stop the madness.

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 6:59 pm

      I can appreciate how extra challenging it can be for families where people have strong feelings both ways. Hopefully, people can look at the big picture and make an informed opinion. It’s not about shaming anyone, but I think we want a way out of this at some point. To conquer any global problem, be it crime, pollution, climate change, etc., we need to work together.

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      1. I believe at this point it is necessary for some people to ‘save face’ when they see the new evidence and the impact on innocent children and people of all ages. Yes, work together.

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    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 7:19 pm

      How are things in your neck of the woods? I remember a post that you did after you moved with your flower patio.

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      1. Hi, Pete! Well, it was 100 in my part of TX today, but some of my flowers and plants have thrived on the balcony. I’m ready for the covid numbers to go down instead up, though, I tell you! Your post today really hit home.

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      2. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 7:43 pm

        Not too much fun being socially distant in 100-degree weather either, even if it is on your balcony. Hang in there!

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      3. That’s for sure. Thanks, Pete!

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  18. I agree with everything that you said here, Pete. I also share your frustration and concern. Sigh.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 10:13 pm

      I keep looking for a way out of this, but it’s going to take more people working together. We’ve had more deaths and cases in our county at any time since this all began. Our hospitals are full, the medical people feel overwhelmed, and people are complaining about wearing a mask or getting a shot. I don’t want to accept this as the new normal.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. On the weekend, a young man entered a Dairy Queen and because he wasn’t wearing a mask, staff asked him to leave. After a bunch of abusive language he did, but then he came back. And proceeded to urinate all over the counter!
    What have we become, to go to lengths like these and worse? I don’t understand.
    I wrote this on FB the other day:
    This is NOT a political post, however it is distressing to see a virus spreading throughout a country known for its kindness and acceptance of religion, sexuality, and culture.
    This virus is quickly becoming as virulent as any airborne disease and if we don’t do something soon, it will forever change who we are as a people.
    The virus I speak of is… hate.

    It breaks my heart to see the deterioration of common sense and kindness to others just because you’re told something that could quite likely save lives.
    We need to wake up and do what needs done. Now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor August 31, 2021 — 10:19 pm

      I’ve seen a few incidents of people losing it in similar circumstances, but nothing quite that bad. Then to take out their anger on the employees who are just following protocol makes no sense.

      The hate virus is running rampant these days. The saddest part is it’s getting so commonplace it doesn’t even seem that shocking anymore.

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  20. EXcellent post, Pete. One of my close friends refused to be vaccinated. She kept asking me to go for a walk with her. I made all kinds of excuses for not doing that with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:01 am

      It definitely can make for some difficult scenarios when our good friends think differently about health issues. I tend to be a logical and analytical person, so I usually like to understand someone else’s thought process. I haven’t had this situation yet, but I’d either do what you’ve been doing or explain why I don’t feel comfortable getting together without sounding judgmental.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. She told me why she doesn’t, but that’s not a good excuse! She home school one granddaughter who could bring any germ or virus to her house.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 12:41 pm

        Hopefully, you can still remain socially distant friends, talking on the phone or email.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. We see each other once a week at church. She has to wear a mask.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. There is risk with everything including vaccines. The risk of getting sick, dying, or spreading Covid (vaccines don’t prevent getting infected and spreading it but make spreading it less likely) to others far outweighs any potential unknown risks of the vaccines. But many people who refuse to get vaccines are also the ones who don’t want to wear masks and want to get together in large groups. I don’t mind the use of guns for subsistence hunting and for self defense when physical power is unequal. Regarding police: for generations society relied on the police to “control” minorities and keep them in their place. Society didn’t much care how they did it. It is hard for some police to understand the rules have changed. Many in society prefer the old rules as long as those rules don’t apply to them. Excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:15 am

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. Some degree of risk comes with everything we do. I recently read a story about someone who had served several tours of duty in the military, retired, and was killed crossing the street back in his hometown. Pretty ironic to survive a war and then get killed doing ordinary activities. Good point about the connection between the anti-vax and those who tend not to wear a mask. They are multiplying their risks.

      As a world traveler, do you find it curious that some people refuse to fly but are quite comfortable driving an automobile when far more people are killed driving than flying?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do find that to be ironic. My mother was one of those people. She even refused to fly home even after being slightly injured in a train derailment in Colorado. She got back on another train! Flying is much safer statistically although I get how some don’t view travelling at 35,000 ft in a pressurized metal tube going 500 mph as safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  22. Many seemed to have lost the ability to choose something bigger than themselves. Your points are all sound and well made. Excellent post and kudos for speaking your mind!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:18 am

      I doubt my post will change anyone’s mind as people are pretty entrenched in their positions by now, but at least I feel better getting this off my chest. I tend to be that guy trying to make sure I don’t offend anyone, as I prefer to go through life without a bunch of drama.

      Liked by 2 people

  23. It takes courage to speak out, Pete. Sound points, eloquently made.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:22 am

      Has the world changed forever? After seventeen months, this has taken its toll on so many of us emotionally and mentally, if not physically. It must be time to take another walk, Jane. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Walking helps for sure. Take care, Pete. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Glad you said what many of us (me) are feeling/thinking but are too darn exhausted to tackle writing about…
    Keep on keepin’ on, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:27 am

      I know this has become a tiresome subject for many of us who never considered we’d still be dealing with the repercussions of the virus after such a long time. It’s an interesting case study in human behavior that people are willing to risk their lives rather than admit they might have been wrong about this whole thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …and often putting their very own loved ones at higher risk…

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Staff starts meeting this week. “Anxiety” was one of the top descriptors in an activity. When students walk into our classrooms next week it will be difficult to ignore how people are ignoring reality.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 7:34 am

      It’s crazy to think that simple activities like going to the grocery store now involve some degree of risk. We should know that anxiety over a long period is not good for our emotional well-being. Are students required to wear masks where you teach? I know they will be at College of the Redwoods. Wishing you a safe and happy school year.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The school board has decided mask optional even though our county is in red status. Last year was mask mandate due to being in red status. 🧐

        Liked by 1 person

      2. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 4:05 pm

        Sounds like everywhere else. People have decided to change standards—it’s like we’ve run out of patience and just said, “Oh, screw it.” I don’t get it.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. I was skeptical in the beginning as well. The longer it went in on and the longer I pondered…it was really an easy choice. With an immunocompromised husband and daughter…it wasn’t worth the risk. Thank you for sharing. Morg is very vocal about wishing more people would wake up and get the vaccine! 💚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 12:29 pm

      We’re heading to Montana this weekend, where the culture is much different. No one wears masks anywhere unless they’re required to inside businesses. We don’t freak out about it because you can only worry about what you can control. I think knowing we’re vaccinated gives us an extra feeling of security.

      Like

  27. Wow, Pete. Well-said! I think I know your heart- you often try to see both sides of all arguments and do everything you can to avoid offending anyone but you’re absolutely right- people need to step up and do the right thing now (especially those that have the ability to get vaccinated vs. those that CANNOT). The consequences are too great and the benefits outweigh the risks by a landslide… Some people care more about “freedom” than other people’s right to feel safe in any given public space.. it’s heartbreaking, truly…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 12:34 pm

      I think in some cases, it’s the inability for some to say, “Maybe I was misinformed about this.” Like I said in my article, I wish people would say, “Now that I can see what is happening, I feel like I can make an informed decision.” It’s not about being right or wrong; it’s about protecting one’s family and the people around us.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Good post, Pete. Like you I put off wearing a seat belt until I was stopped by the police. A friend had told me of someone she knew who had drowned when their car went into a river and they couldn’t undo the seat belt. However, I’ve worn one for some time now because it’s the law, but do not like being dictated to. I think it should be a matter of personal choice whether or not you wear one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 12:39 pm

      That’s the way I looked at it for quite a while. I’ve come to view it as a measure to keep us safe, just as road signs, stop signs, speed limits, and stop lights do. As someone who is opposed to big government, I get where you’re coming from too.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Amen, Pete! Thank you for speaking out. Anyone not getting vaccinated is selfish. I have no better explanation for that. Do those unvaccinated even realize how many people are dying, unrelated to COVID, because of the strained hospital situation? Do they not care about their loved ones, friends, neighbors? It’s insane.

    Like you, I think I have an open mind, but in some situations (politically and pandemic related) I have such a hard time understanding and respecting the other side… Common sense should be common sense for the very reason of the term, across the board. What is so difficult to understand about the advantages of being vaccinated?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 1, 2021 — 6:44 pm

      Thank you, Liesbet. Are you chomping at the bit to get back out on the road? I’ll bet you’re not used to being grounded this long. I hope the new vehicle is good for you. Safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve almost been here five months, Pete. That’s still one month less than last summer, but it’s been enough. While relatively comfortable, our stays in Massachusetts are not ideal and always come with a lot of work and responsibilities. So, yes, we are mentally and physically ready to hit the road and live “our” life again. Waiting for a few more packages to complete a few more projects, before we leave. 🙂

        After reading about those laws going into effect in Texas, we are more and more ready to leave this country as well. Things are surely going the wrong, backwards, way!

        Liked by 1 person

  30. You are a courageous man and writer, Pete. I am in such total agreement with you, but I know I couldn’t have expressed all of this as well as you have. The comments are wonderful here, as well. I (kinda, sorta) understand what Jacqui says about the worry some anti-Vaxers have, but in truth, I feel that Americans have become too “entitled.” They worry about themselves as individuals, not of the community they live in. But we ARE a village – a community of individuals who must look out for each other. Not getting vaccinated is doing harm to the village. In my humble opinion. That said, I teach several writing classes and from our deep and honest writings, thought I knew my (adult) students so well, yet I just learned that a couple of them refuse to be vaccinated. They are good people with huge hearts (I’ve read their stories!). But I still don’t get their refusal to protect themselves, their family, and their community.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor September 2, 2021 — 11:43 am

      It is interesting how we can be alike with others in so many ways and then have these glaring differences of opinion. Even if I disagree with a person’s opinions, I like to understand their point of view. Most times, I get where they’re coming from. In this case, the arguments I’ve heard are all pretty weak. When some of the staunch conservatives began telling their bases to get vaccinated, I thought it would make a bigger impact than it has. I’m still mystified why public safety is tied to politics. What do we want for our kids? Safety, happiness, a good education, and finding someone to love. These should be universals we can agree on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Makes so much sense! The politics vs public safety is NONsense. ;-0

        Liked by 1 person

  31. I’m with you all the way, Pete… Praying that others will see the light and that we will all learn to respect those on the other side of all of the divisive issues in our famlies, communities, country and world. Love is what it’s all about! ❤ xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 2, 2021 — 12:55 pm

      I think you’ve got the right attitude about this, Bette. I don’t like all of the divisiveness and unwillingness to accept others. These tribal attitudes and unwillingness to see someone else’s point of view are creating more problems for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  32. You’re so reasonable, Pete. I totally agree. And it’s so tragic to see unvaccinated people losing their parents, spouses, children, and friends. Many voice regrets and wish they could have made better choices. Now’s the time for everyone to protect themselves and others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 2, 2021 — 3:47 pm

      We don’t always get a second chance. I know some react by saying, “I don’t have any sympathy for people that made this choice. They made their own bed.” I’m not wired like that. I empathize with others because I can think of times when I didn’t make the right decision. It’s horrible that so many have lost loved ones, even if many deaths were preventable.

      Liked by 1 person

  33. Your thinking and insight is absolutely right. Why can’t others work to see both sides of the coin and make objective decisions? I think being bombarded by the news 24/7 plays a big role in that. You know who I miss? Walter Cronkite. He reported the facts. Nothing more. That’s it.

    I feel the same way you do about the vaccine, yet there are some people with pre-existing medical conditions that put them at high risk for getting the vaccine. One is my co-teacher. Oh, boy…it has been a difficult teacher back to school week. She is jumping through hoops to take extra precautionary steps, but that is not enough for some people. I’ll leave it at that. So yes, hands down (most) everyone should get vaccinated.

    If I purposely spend time outdoors, it does wonders to clear the brain and refresh the soul. Best to you, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 5, 2021 — 1:01 pm

      Certainly, some should not get vaccinated due to medical reasons. No one should make those feel guilty if those decisions are based on sound scientific research. What I struggle with are those who take their advice from non-medical sources.

      Taking a walk, riding a bike, etc.. is good for our physical and mental health. I feel sharper mentally when I’m getting regular exercise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well said, Pete. I feel exactly the same way!

        Liked by 1 person

  34. That’s excellent, Pete – and you’re right, it is crazy madness. It’s very clear that only the unvaccinated are ending up in hospital now, for the most part. But the medical staff are then the ones to suffer looking after these people. Toni x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 6, 2021 — 4:45 am

      I have several friends and family members who work in the medical field. It has to be discouraging not to feel that the public also has their best interests in mind. Have a great week, Toni!

      Liked by 1 person

  35. I’m with all you said. Yes, when those who refuse to quash this pandemic keep spreading it to others, that’s the time for the seatbelt law to kick in!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. petespringerauthor September 6, 2021 — 7:31 pm

      I suspect that’s where we’re heading, but then I expect a bit of a backlash. I find it odd with all of the problems in the world that this is the one some have chosen to take their last stand on.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No kidding! We have ‘our own’ here too.

        Liked by 1 person

  36. An excellent and well balanced article Pete thank you. I quote from an article from WHO here with I think illustrates the effectiveness of vaccines and one that is administered to around 86% of children worldwide including to the children of a high percentage of the anti-vaxxers protesting the Covid one. The figures of children under five dying you have not received the vaccine are tragic.

    “Measles is a highly contagious, serious disease caused by a virus. Before the introduction of measles vaccine in 1963 and widespread vaccination, major epidemics occurred approximately every 2–3 years and measles caused an estimated 2.6 million deaths each year.

    More than 140 000 people died from measles in 2018 – mostly children under the age of 5 years, despite the availability of a safe and effective vaccine” https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/measles

    Those who do not wear masks and have not been vaccinated or have developed anti-bodies by having the virus, are putting those they love at risk.. along with the rest of us. A stance that many are now regretting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 7, 2021 — 3:54 pm

      It’s understandable to be cautious when putting anything into our bodies, but considering the alternative and the proven track record of the vaccines thus far, it wasn’t that difficult a decision for me.

      Your information about the measles vaccines is one of many startling examples. One of my former students was in the ICU for over two weeks with Covid and has made it his mission to tell others how he has gone from an anti-vax philosophy to encouraging others to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good for him, it takes courage to reverse such a contentious viewpoint, especially when there are some hardliners who are tough to sway.. xx

        Liked by 1 person

  37. Well done, Pete on posting your POV….My views are pretty much the same as yours….I get that everyone has a choice but are they wearing blinkers and do not see the deaths going on around them as that is the reality…It seems people don’t have the ability now to change their minds and say I think I will have the jab as more information comes out…I did…:) x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 8, 2021 — 8:44 am

      I understand that not everyone receives information or the ability to get the vaccine as swiftly as others, but at this point, how much more proof do we need? I still have many questions about the variant and continued vaccinations, but I think I’ll probably continue to get vaccinated unless science proves that unnecessary or perhaps dangerous.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absolutely, Pete.. You only have to look at the figures now they split vaccinated and unvacinated. Which are far higher every which way you look.. As you say until it is proved long term to have consequences I am going ahead..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 9, 2021 — 10:14 am

      Thanks so much, Sally. I’m honored to be in the company of Debby, Liz, Jim, and Carol. I follow all of their blogs.

      Like

  38. Very good article, Pete! Thank you for writing it so detailled and open minded. Lets hope some will change their minds. Have a good weekend! xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 10, 2021 — 1:02 pm

      I know some people are all over social media arguing about this, but that’s not my style. On the other hand, I feel better expressing my opinion. 95% of the population has made up their mind about this already, but I hope my thoughts reached someone in the small undecided pool. Have a great weekend, Michael!

      Like

  39. Eloquent and to the point, Pete. This is something I feel very strongly about, too – mainly because we don’t live in isolation and therefore other people are affected by the choices we make. In the case of Covid vaccination, the truth is very hard to ignore but it’s become a polarising subject and we have situations here where anti-vaxxers try to prevent those who want the vaccine from getting it. I think that a part of the problem is that some people enjoy being the centre of attention and create a following regardless of what they truly believe. These people whip up their supporters into a frenzy that continues to build with each meeting and they ride on that adrenaline rush. Social media plays a significant part in this and the Internet is awash with misinformation. There’s also a growing sense that the ugliness that appears anonymously online is percolating to the surface in the ‘real’ world.
    It’s reading a post like yours that gives me faith in humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 10, 2021 — 1:10 pm

      I see what you see in terms of the behavior of people, Trish. We’ve always had a lot of keyboard warriors, and I suspect that will never change, but more of that type of rude and boorish behavior is becoming more commonplace in everyday face-to-face interactions. I find that particularly disturbing. When that stuff is tolerated, that opens the door to more. It reminds me a bit of the wildfires all over the west. It has become so common, we’re not even shocked by it anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  40. yes, yes, yes, & yes — you’ve definitely struck a nerve here, Pete! Would you be so kind as to guest blog post for my site? If you’re so inclined, here’s a link to general guidelines: https://wp.me/p6OZAy-1eQ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. petespringerauthor September 25, 2021 — 8:30 pm

      I’d be glad to do that. We’re traveling right now, but I’ll take a closer look this week.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. so glad 🙂 no deadline. happy trails!

        Liked by 1 person

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