Welcome to Alabama, where Trump carried the state in both 2016 and 2020, where my Congressman, Mo Brooks, said he was glad those Texas Democrats who left the state got infected with COVID, and where the population would rather put a losing football coach in the US Senate than a Democrat. White Jesus runs the state government as well as many of our houses of worship. You know white Jesus, right? He’s the one who tells you to quit whining and do it your damn self – unless it involves the University of Alabama football, that is.
At present, only one-third of Alabamians eligible for the COVID vaccine have been vaccinated; we have the lowest vaccination rate in the nation. Despite Governor Ivey’s year-long mask mandate, she no longer thinks masks are necessary, and she’s not inclined to mandate vaccination. These days very few people wear masks in public and you can’t tell the vaccinated from the unvaccinated… unless it’s after church on Sunday. Most of the people in restaurants and grocery stores at that time are not vaccinated. Forty-seven of our sixty-seven counties are at very high risk of COVID spread, including the one where I live.
So who are these Alabamians who are not vaccinated? Sadly, they are a large percentage of the Black and Latino communities, with only 22% of the Hispanic population and 27% of the Black population having been vaccinated. Approximately 30% of the Caucasian population has been vaccinated (Source: USAFacts).
I am fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. I don’t wear a mask because I trust the health officials like Dr. Fauci who say I don’t need to. I am aware that the World Health Organization and some medical professionals here in the US suggest we should still mask up, and that many people still choose to wear masks. I respect that, though if you are still wearing a mask that’s not covering your nose, I wonder why you bother (yes, people still do that).
It’s sad that more people choose to not vaccinate. The guy that mows my lawn recently tested positive for COVID. I’m grateful that he never showed symptoms and no one else in his family became ill, but I also am flabbergasted that a man who cares as much about his family as he does put them all at risk. Vaccinations are free here, and readily available at pharmacies and medical clinics. The CDC reports that 99% of COVID deaths in the last six months were of unvaccinated people. There truly is no reason for not being vaccinated if you can be.
So why are so many Alabamians not vaccinated? A New York Times opinion piece from May of this year noted that thirteen percent of Alabama’s unvaccinated don’t think they can afford the time or cost of getting vaccinated. I wonder if they think they can afford hospitalization or a funeral. Three percent don’t trust the system. These are mostly people of color and have good reason. Remember the Tuskegee Experiment? Ten percent are watching to see what happens. OK, y’all, none of us who are vaccinated have died and so far no chips have been found inside us, so pony up already. Then there are the over 20% of unvaccinated Alabamians who still don’t believe COVID is a threat. These people are so ridiculous I can’t even.
Personally, I’m tired of this dog and pony show. If the past year-and-a-half hasn’t taught them anything, maybe they need a dose of COVID in their lives to show them this shit is real and their preachers and political leaders are full of shit. Or maybe they’re beyond hope and we’d all be better off without them.
Too harsh? How much longer do we have to put up with this nonsense from people who think Jesus will save them from COVID but still need to carry a handgun while grocery shopping? How much longer do we have to wait for those on the fence to accept the disease is far worse than the vaccine? How much longer are we going to let liars and those who choose to believe their lies trump the daily lives of the majority of Americans?
I was reminded this morning that those who refuse to become vaccinated are helping spawn strains of the virus even more dangerous than the current Delta variant sweeping the nation. After thinking about it further, I’ve come to believe what we’re doing now can’t be any worse than what is happening in countries that don’t have access to the vaccine like we do in the US. I say give these holdouts 20 days to get their first shot, then start shipping every dose to countries that need it and will actually put it to use. Such actions will likely do more to stop further variants from developing than kissing all this unvaccinated American ass.
Politicians talked about acceptable losses at the start of the pandemic. Perhaps we need to have that conversation again. For those of you who will die, sorry for your luck, but we can’t have the stock market diving over you. We have to reopen the economy. Isn’t that what you said last year?