The first part is here. It’s not really a ‘hard’ part one — it’s not required reading before this post — but if you want to check it out go right ahead.
I dragged my ass out of bed to help my dad change his oil. The first thing I said to him after I fired up the coffee maker was, “Yeah, I feel like shit today. I got the COVID vaccine yesterday and it’s fucking killing me.” He replied with the always-present passive-aggressive laugh along with, “I don’t care.” Okay, well nice to see you too. I cannot wait to change your car’s oil for you! I wasn’t really upset or pissed — I wasn’t farming for sympathy and was only making idle conversation, explaining why I felt awful — but getting shit on so quickly was jarring.
So my dad obviously doesn’t seem too worried about COVID and the vaccine. Most people are at least selfishly worried about it, they don’t want to catch it themselves, and he’s a very high-risk person. A few years ago he had a pulmonary embolism and almost died, so his lungs aren’t the best. He also smokes. You think this would kick his ass into gear to get the vaccine, but no, he doesn’t seem to give a shit about it. The little information I got from him (besides the condescending ‘I don’t care’) is that he wants the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine; he doesn’t want to be bothered with getting two shots, even if his life actually might depend on it.
My mom is the only person in my family that seems to take COVID seriously. She still hasn’t gotten her shot though, which is confusing. Seeing as I’m one of the ‘lower risk’ people, I assume if I got my shot anyone can get one now. Making this even more frustrating is the fact that her job — she takes care of old people in their homes — is paying her a bonus to get the shot! She still hasn’t. My mom is famously bad with money and being logical at all and this is a great example of it. And Why the hell didn’t I get paid to get the vaccine?!
The other people in my family have even more questionable beliefs. We visited my grandma a few days ago. She had just gotten back from a stint in a nursing home/rehab facility for falling and also caught pneumonia. I asked if she had the vaccine and she hasn’t yet, but her health isn’t very good. She’s almost 90 and a smoker so I can see the doctors not wanting to stress her body anymore at this point in time. Luckily she seems pretty level-headed about COVID; she’s never been a big science nerd or anything but hasn’t spouted any conspiracy-level bullshit either about it. I’ll give grandma a pass on not getting the vaccine.
My uncle was there when we were visiting. I’ve never talked to him about his political beliefs because fuck that mess, but I have an idea of what he believes. Right wing, yes, conspiracy nut and Q? I don’t know, maybe. He’s a big fan of the NRA and carries his fucking pistol with him all the time. I’ve probably mentioned how jarring it is seeing a loaded gun on my grandma’s dining table when we visit. Basically if anyone has some crazy-ass beliefs in the family it’ll be him and I don’t even want to bring a conversation anywhere near politics if he’s around. Since everything is politicized for some reason I don’t talk to him very much.
According to grandma, him, my aunt, and my cousin (who were also visiting) at the very least don’t think COVID is a big deal. They don’t want the vaccine because why the hell would you get vaccinated if it’s not a credible threat? Once again I don’t talk to them about their beliefs, but my cousin posts some questionable stuff on Facebook. I think a year ago she was proud of not wearing a mask in stores probably because she’s sticking up for ‘liberty’ or her ‘personal freedoms’ or some trash such as that. Such a hero for liberty by not wearing a mask! She’s right up there with Paul Fucking Revere! Anyways, she probably thinks some extreme shit: COVID is a hoax, COVID isn’t dangerous, COVID is just the flu, COVID is blah blah fucking blah. At least my aunt wore a mask around us when we were over there. My cousin? Nothing. Fuck COVID. Fuck masks. And so on.
Uncle and Aunt (according to Gramma) seem concerned with any side effects and such. I like to think of this as ‘conspiracy lite’ beliefs or something; even if my aunt did think COVID was legit, she’s still doesn’t want to get the vaccine for vague reasons that aren’t actually reasons.
I feel like some strange odd-man-out in my family. I said it in the last post, but I’m a huge fan of the ‘greater good’ (I’m starting to consider this one of my elusive ‘personal values’) and in terms of a pandemic this isn’t abstract at all: the more people that are vaccinated the better. The virus can’t propagate through the population and the entire key to ending this is just to stop the spread. Masks and social distancing we’re good initial steps (that the US totally fucked up anyways) but a vaccine is the endgame. If a bunch of people, and I don’t know the number exactly because I’m not an epidemiologist, get vaccinated, BAM, the pandemic is over! It’s such an easy action that anyone can do that’ll contribute greatly to society. It makes you into a hero, a shitty small hero but a hero none-the-less.
Then there’s my family. Even if their reasons are ‘legit’ like worrying about the side effects, I still see these reasons as selfish at a basic level. Yes, your health is important, but the health of the 300+ million other Americans is also important. I don’t think it’s extreme to view yourself as at least equal to the rest of your fellow humans, and ridiculous to think that you are someone so special that your personal beliefs negate the need for you to get the vaccine. I just don’t get it. It makes even less sense when they’re around my grandma, the definition of an ‘at risk’ person, without the vaccine. As much as people toss around the word ‘Love’ in my family, they sure don’t show it. Yes, they take care of my grandma and do tons of shit for her but the lack of getting the vaccine for shitty personal reasons seems like a huge oversight in the ‘Love’ department.
And let’s not even get into the hoaxers like my cousin probably is. It’s selfish as well, but so ridiculously selfish it’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so dangerous. Imagine thinking that you are one of the chosen few that truly understands what is going on in the world. Fuck the scientists and experts that studied things like these for literal decades; you see right through their lies!
It started with me feeling odd being the only one that has gotten the vaccine in my family but I feel even stranger thinking of the reasons behind it; it’s because I’m not selfish, at least as much as they are. Damn that sounds egotistical as fuck but I’m serious. This shit does not compute in my brain and it seems so simple! Get the vaccine, protect strangers, protect those around you, end the pandemic, and what’s the downside to that? Oh, you might feel like shit for three days. It’s an easy tradeoff. I’m not worried about side effects because if they’re serious enough they’re also rare enough that I don’t mind taking the risk. I’m certain the risk my family feels is totally blown out of proportion as well, kinda like being scared to fly when it’s mathematically shown to be the safest form of travel we have. Like I said in the last post, JUST GET THE FUCKING VACCINE! (Unless of course you’re immunocompromised or have an actual legit reason to not get it, obviously.)
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