I ask myself the question, “when will things be going back to normal again?” We are in a real dilemma, not only has Brexit divided us into new terms, such as (at times used derivatively) “remoaners“, and “Brexiter” but now the division became even deeper by calling some people “sheep and not being awake” and some others “Karens” etc.
I ask myself if so many people refuse to get vaccinated, or only got one vaccine but don’t go for the second shot - what’s the point? Scientists tell us that we need to achieve a certain amount of willing people to get out of this situation, but there are so many people who have lost trust in pharmaceutical companies, governments, and other establishments (I completely understand and get it, but it does not resolve the situation we are in).
However, I believe the challenge here goes back to the problem that each person has been brainwashed with the illusionary story that their own individual life matters so much that most people have forgotten to think of others.
Humanity needs cooperation!
“Humanity can only evolve with positive cooperation” … “ to this date any revolution has failed because it simply replaced one set of leaders with another one that soon emerged as another manipulative leadership where only the interests of the few were satisfied. We, as a society need more cooperation not division in order to put adequate check and balances to any fraction of society that gets too powerful.”
Now vaccines benefit individuals and society as a whole! I remember my favourite author saying that “vaccines are the greatest invention”.
Some vulnerable people cannot get vaccinated, so we people who can, should ensure that with community effort we protect those weaker people in our society. It is evidenced by psychological studies that we humans act irrational and fall victim to biases. Our brain looks for a shortcut and uses certain biases, but it is important we stay open-minded and question those biases as we act out and make decisions in a more and more complex and overall uncertain world.
I had friends and acquaintances tell me, “I wait until the vaccine is more tested”. Tested on whom? Should animals be used for testing, or is their life so much more precious than people who have taken the vaccine? Since the agricultural revolution, we have subdued the worthiness of animals to humans.
The definition by Peta in their blog about What Is Speciesism and How You Can Overcome It | PETA is interesting to consider:
“Speciesism is a misguided belief that one species is more important than another. This toxic mindset is deeply ingrained in our society, and it results in all kinds of negative consequences.”
So, why is it OK to try the effectiveness of vaccines on animals but not on us directly? I even heard a doctor saying: “I am not going to put this into me unless it has been tried for a few years”. May I ask this doctor who he or she wants this vaccine to be tried on? Some less powerful nation? Some rats and/or monkeys?
Now, I can understand that it is a scary thing to get something shot in your arm, but when I got my vaccines I thought about my parents, other elderly and vulnerable people and on the overall prospect of ending this pandemic.
Freedom of choice
Another argument is “freedom of choice”! The Taliban choose to go to prayers with guns! That is their choice! See my social media post about what I have to say about that!
Although I respect the freedom of choice, I feel it is moral assistance to the whole community and humanity and guarantee a community effort to protect the vulnerable and weak in our society.
So, did I go with my friends to a restaurant, only learning after a few cocktails that both did not get the second jab (one was coming closer and closer to me). The usual “it’s a man-made virus, it is only affecting a few, I have too many health issues to risk taking it, I don’t trust the government etc.”.
An argument was also not knowing what is in the vaccine. I just pointed them to the food we just consumed and asked them if anybody of them could exactly point out what we were just eating and what exactly the ingredients were we just consumed. None of them could. Of course, you have a right to decide what goes into your body. That’s one of the core principles of medical ethics and of individual rights. Others have also the right to decide whether or how to interact with you, and businesses have the right to protect their staff and clients. In actual fact, I feel we even have a duty to inform each other if we are vaccinated or not. I still can transmit the virus to a vulnerable person even thus I am vaccinated, so I do have a right to know whom I meet.
It is easy just to follow your biases (remember this is the shortcut your brain chooses to take and is easier) and believe in conspiracy theories as this frees us from having to accept things we don’t want to believe!
Another argument is “I know nurses who refuse to take this vaccine”, well, I know nurses who are shocked that other nurses are refusing to take this vaccine and continue to care for the vulnerable.
We seem to cherry-pick sources and devise a narrative that best fits our biases, disregarding anything that doesn’t fit in with our worldview.
Far-right congresswoman Greene claims in a press conference the idea that “people who choose not to wear masks or be vaccinated should not be socially ostracized for their beliefs”. So, does the AFD in Germany and many esoteric practitioners seem to echo back what QAnon is advocating. Right-wing propaganda is fuelling the divisions in society.
So, I heard somebody who refused to take the vaccine saying “immigrants have brought rubella back to our schools because they are not vaccinated. This person is contributing that Covid will stay longer with us as she is not vaccinated! But somehow it's ok to blame an immigrant but not herself?
It seems everybody with their claim of “freedom of choice” wants only the privileges, but they forget to be responsible participants of communities! For me, taking the COVID vaccine meant freedom to travel, go and see my parents and protect others and myself, and overall with the hope to end this dam pandemic!
There are plenty of moral reasons to be vaccinated, and it does affect society as a whole! Infections depend on the overall tendency of people participating in the vaccination, the more we get vaccinated, the less the virus gets transmitted. If there is high disease prevalence, we must be aware of new variants.
If I have with my small act of getting vaccinated only saved one life, I am very grateful! Thinking more of US than ME maybe is the solution to heal our planet earth. Yoga means "union" - it is ultimately the union with everything and the realization that my actions affect the wellbeing of another sentient being. Namaste,