Moral Imperative


            We’ve had a week of solid rain now and the summer seems long gone. I’ve walked to the village with an umbrella instead of sunglasses and boots instead of sandals. Camp was already enjoying his beer, staring out at the hard rain coming down, drumming on the glass roof.

            As the anti-vaxxers become more militant and ostracize themselves ever more from the mainstream of society, making life for the rest of us difficult with restrictions and overwhelmed health system, what should we – or the powers that be – do Camp?’ 

            For once my friend didn’t have a ready answer and thoughtfully sipped his beer. We both listened to the seagulls squawking. ‘For one thing we cannot pander to them and keep trying to convince them with arguments and statistics. We should let them know that we, the vaccinated, are protecting them by not letting them into gatherings and restaurants, since we could still be carrying the virus and infect them and since they are not protected, they are much more likely to end up sick, in hospital or the incinerator.’

‘To get vaccinated is a moral imperative.’

            David Leonhardt from the New York Times calls it Red Covid because covid deaths are occurring in a partisan pattern and increasingly concentrated in republican America.’

            ‘It’s a Darwinian solution,’ Camp said, ‘culling out the weak and stupid.’

            ‘I read that restaurants are hit hard since many are flooded with fake reservations by these idiots and are now forced to charge a non-refundable small deposit. And demonstrating in front of hospitals? How low can they stoop?’

            ‘As low as long as they can capture media attention and feel that they are part of a movement or a group that reinforces their delusions. No wonder that many of these deranged demonstrators are already marginalized and confused. Yes, they should be fined and when they get sick, be treated in a separate covid-field-hospital, not taking up room on the wards.’

            ‘We have gone from banging pots and being kind, calm and safe to banging heads and being angry, losing patience and feeling unsafe. One year on and we are no better off. Are we supposed to shun the anti-vaxxers, even if they are family or close friends?’

            ‘It’s a difficult question,’ Camp said, shaking his grey curly head. ‘If only one in ten is not immunized, the other nine will protect him or her. But if there are three in a group of ten and one gets sick, the other two likely will also get the virus and unless isolated, can potentially infect even vulnerable vaccinated people, like cancer patients, diabetics or other’s suffering from debilitating illnesses. I for one avoid the unvaccinated but if they are friends or family, I have to accommodate them, preferably outside and six feet away.’

            ‘I don’t want to be a vaccine fascist but I support public health mandates. Anarchy begets chaos which might be a desirable outcome in politics or relationships but not with regards to health and wellness,’ I said. 

            ‘And there you have it. We’re doomed if we don’t and damned if we do. Maybe someday there will be a pill like an aspirin that will ward off the virus but until then we’re stuck with the available remedies.’

            Vicky brought around our second round and I couldn’t help but notice that she seemed not her usual, cheery self. ‘Anything bothering you,’ I had to ask.

            ‘Yes, we can’t find any help either in the service or the kitchen which means I have to work more than I want to. Juggling a toddler, studies and work doesn’t leave any time for fun.’

            ‘What kind of fun do you have in mind?’ Camp had to ask

            ‘Sleeping in after a night of dancing with my friends.’

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