Why your opinion is worthless

It’s been nearly two years of Covid. Two years of speculation on what it would mean, how it might spread, how it could be fought and overcome. And for just as long there have been people who said that it wouldn’t be a problem, that it wasn’t a danger, that people shouldn’t worry.

Those people were wrong. That’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Covid spread worldwide, it’s killed millions, and it hasn’t gone away (or even “disappeared like a miracle”)

Now we have vaccines, something people were desperate for when the scope of the problem became evident, but the effectiveness of those vaccines has been eroded by people who:

A: Wouldn’t get vaccinated

B: Wouldn’t wear masks and

C: Wouldn’t reduce social interaction.

These people are broadly grouped together as “Anti-vaxxers”, though in truth they have no organisation, no common message, and only ignorance in common with one another. Countless op-eds in newspapers and online have suggested that we (the folks who got vaccinated, maintained social distance and continue to wear masks in public) should treat the “vaccine hesitants” with respect, because we won’t change their views with scorn, mockery or, it appears, the truth.

While I understand this point of view, I think it falls down on one fundamental point – it’s bollocks.

If, after nearly two years of Covid, you are “hesitant” about the vaccine, it’s because you are being wilfully ignorant. You have ignored the mountains of evidence and clung to obscure YouTube videos and Twitter links that reinforced your original thoughts They are right, you believe, because even though they are the minority viewpoint, they align with YOUR viewpoint. The “Mainstream media”, which you trust for your weather, traffic reports, news of major crimes and international events, is targeting this one aspect of modern life for a torrent of disinformation, and are paying off legions of doctors and nurses (and, presumably, dead people) to create this fiction that Covid is dangerous.

If you don’t “believe” in the vaccine, let me take this opportunity to say I do not care in the slightest about your beliefs, and neither does the world. You can choose not believe in tables, or mountains, or Buddhists. The world will still contain those things. Your belief, or lack of, does not change anything.

If you are “hesitant” because you don’t know what’s in the vaccine, or you’re worried about being microchipped or traced, then I hope you cook every meal from fresh ingredients you farm yourself, and never take any other form of pharmaceutical. I hope you read every word of every EULA that accompanies every app on your phone or your computer. In fact, I would hope you don’t HAVE a phone if you’re worried about being tracked or traced.

If you’re concerned that the vaccine rewrites your DNA, please lie down in a dark room before you hurt yourself or others. It’s probably too late to tell you not to take horse de-wormer.

Finally, if your stance is predicated on “Freedom” or involves the words “liberty” or “constitution”, reflect on the fact that you are looking for language that will permit you to care only about yourself and your own convenience. Other people would like freedom and liberty. Other people are protected by your country’s founding documents. Why do YOU suddenly take precedence when you’re being asked to take medical precautions that protect YOU as well as them? When you shout about freedom, I see a toddler whining about having to eat vegetables. You don’t care what the results of your actions may be in the future, you want to avoid responsibilities NOW. You don’t want to wear a mask, or take a vaccine, it’s inconvenient to you.

There’s no reason to treat such attitudes with respect, or to attempt to understand them. They are selfish, childish attitudes that have prolonged this pandemic, and will continue to do so. I’m vaccinated, I wear a mask to work every day. I keep my distance when I can. None of this is convenient, but it’s necessary. It’s necessary because childish, selfish people refuse to take those same precautions, and I’m done with them.

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