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OPINION | RICHARD MASON: Yet more reasons to get vaccinated

by Richard Mason | September 19, 2021 at 1:47 a.m.

Let's say you really believe it's your business if you don't want to get vaccinated, and you figure most kids will be able to survive a case of covid-19.

You believe the vaccine needs to be proven over a longer period of time, and you are wondering if some of those wild side effects you've heard about might have some validity. You're not going to get vaccinated unless you have a good reason. The CDC and millions of vaccinated individuals aren't good enough.

I'm going to give you the best reason that crass money-loving Americans can have: If you don't get vaccinated and covid-19 gets totally out of control again, you are going to screw up the economy.

Do you want to risk not only a spiking of virus cases but a real possibility that the virus will cause the economy to sink into another recession or worse?

If we don't get the virus under control your employer could be in jeopardy, your stocks could plummet, and you could ultimately lose your job, along with all your benefits and retirement funds. Bankrupt companies can't offer vacations, health coverage, and retirement benefits. Those are facts.

Are you willing to risk all of that because you have some goofy idea unsupported by any scientific evidence that says taking the vaccine could possibly do you harm?

If you continue to refuse to be vaccinated, it's clear you don't care about the millions of kids who aren't yet approved to get the vaccine. You could be partially responsible for the deaths of thousands of children, and sooner or later you will very likely get the virus. (That comment is from an infectious disease physician.)

Think about that for a minute and reflect on what will happen if the virus attacks your lungs, and you spend days on a ventilator before you suffer a horrible death. Or if you manage to recover and the doctor looks at your X-rays and comments that you won't be able to return to work until your damaged lungs improve, and they may never be strong enough to allow you to live a productive life again.

Have you ever listened to unvaccinated men and women on respirators begging for the vaccine? It's too late for them. You still have time.

Getting vaccinated is like everything else in life. There are risks and rewards. If you are questioning whether being vaccinated is a threat to your health in any way, and you think Mike Lindell, the founder and face of MyPillow, and Sen. Rand Paul might be right, I suggest you visit a couple of health-care facilities to see the risks involved by not being vaccinated.

Take a quick on-site look at a local emergency room and an intensive care unit. Then ask a health-care provider: How many of those hospitalized there are vaccinated? When that provider tells you that almost every person in the ICU is unvaccinated, that should be enough proof for anyone to take the shot.

It's not as if this idea of getting a vaccine to keep a person from contracting a disease is new. Vaccinations of all kinds have been with us for several generations. Kids can't attend public schools without a series of vaccinations, and when Vertis and I went to Africa, we had more vaccinations than I can count; one afternoon we had three at one time, including one for cholera. It was just a blip in a day, and we never thought anything about it.

Over the past century the advent of vaccines has been one of the major accomplishments of medical research, and millions of lives have been saved. I'm ready for the covid-19 booster, and I may be getting a shingles booster as well.

The number of vaccines for the prevention of a variety of diseases has steadily increased over the years, and that is directly related to our increased life expectancy. Recently, life expectancy has taken a dip because of covid-19. If you don't get vaccinated, you have a good chance of being part of the dip.

Are you going to end your life because you are so stupid that you let politics keep you from being vaccinated? Hell yes, being vaccinated is political! Look at the number of unvaccinated Republicans and Democrats, the goofy governors who ban the use of masks, and the group at the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. How many did you see wearing a mask?

By not wearing a mask or being vaccinated, are you saying that you had rather die than be mistaken for a Democrat? If you can give me a reason why a lot more Republicans are refusing to be vaccinated than Democrats, I would like to hear it.

We are at a crossroads in the virus fight, and the fork in the road is obvious. One direction will take us muddling along until we reach herd immunity, and hundreds of thousands more Americans will die, including an increasing number of children.

The other route will necessitate we take the measures to assure that 90 percent of the public who are qualified to receive vaccinations do so. The way to achieve this virus-killing number is to require a vaccination passport, and that covid-19 passport is no different than the doctor's note that every public school child has to have before he or she can attend school.

We must demand this. Until every grocery store, gas station, and movie theater requires it, we won't get rid of the virus.

Americans have always risen to the challenge, and I believe we will today. Louisiana State University is leading the way by demanding proof of vaccination to gain entry to the football stadium. I hate to say it, but we need to follow LSU's example.

Most of New York City is heading in that direction, and when Walmart makes it mandatory for shoppers to produce proof of vaccination to enter a store, we will know the virus is on its way out.

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