Gary Horton | Following the Science: It’s Really Just a Vaccine

Gary Horton

COVID vaccines are just shots to help stop a worldwide pandemic. They’re based on the best scientific medicine available – using the best medical science developed over decades. We live in a near-miraculous time, a time of DNA research and results, where science-meets-medicine allows humanity to beat diseases and maladies that for eternities before have plagued us. 

We live in an age of medical marvels. We should appreciate it. 

Yet oddly, facing a plague disease, some conservative leaders have abused this near gift from God – this scientific marvel of vaccination — into a cynical political ploy and chip. About 30% of Americans remain unvaccinated against COVID. Mainly, less educated, conservative white men, but others, also. There will always be conspiracy theory peddlers and eager pliable followers to promote and reward them. Like self-enriching televangelists, the anti-vaccine scammers whip the “faithful” (some call them dupes) for money, power, votes, notoriety, fame and fortune. 

“Bill Gates is putting chips in your body.” 

“Non-magnetic keys will magnetically stick to your forehead.” 

“More people die from the vaccine than die from the disease.” 

“COVID isn’t even a real disease at all – it was cooked up to get Joe Biden elected.” 

Or the most cynical, “Vaccination is a matter of personal freedom.”  

As for me and my family – we’ll blow past this silliness and follow the science, instead. 

You follow other science in nearly every other way. You may take heart pills or blood pressure pills, or get your dialysis, or brush your teeth regularly, or exercise to stay fit, or get your checkups, or perhaps you’ve had life-enhancing or lifesaving surgeries. In so many other ways, you follow science.  

I read a cute meme the other day. A nurse treating a desperate COVID patient in the ICU says, “How come you’ll let me cure your COVID with science here, but you wouldn’t let me protect you with science before you got sick?” Non-COVID believers are quickly converted once the gasping for air starts… 

A doctor friend of mine had a young middle-aged patient present herself the other day. She had been a nurse and worked in the ICU. She refused to get vaccinated and came down with a severe case of COVID. Now, at an otherwise healthy middle age, she was dragging an oxygen tank behind her with an air hose tucked under her nose. And she confessed she was getting the vaccine as soon as she was recovered… True story. 

Last night I went over to Walgreens at 5:50 pm and got my Pfizer booster shot. They filled out some paperwork, looked at my COVID vaccination card, took me into the back room, cleaned my arm and… jabbed me. It took five seconds. It hurt a little. The cost to me was zero. “Free” – except that the government is paying for all these vaccinations. 

Why is the government paying for my and your vaccinations? It’s not because “they” want to take away your “freedoms.” IT’S BECAUSE IT WANTS TO PROTECT YOU AND OTHERS FROM A PANDEMIC! It’s government actually doing beneficial things for you and me. Think of it like having a school nurse at your public school.  

To all the anti-vaxxers: Are you also anti-school nurses? Anti-antibiotics? “No kid of mine is going to get Neosporin on his cut!” 

Some folks refuse blood transfusions. And thousands and tens of thousands have died, needlessly, for a belief. You can believe anything you want but be prepared that some beliefs will kill or hurt you. Like that unvaccinated nurse with the air tank… 

So, you don’t think COVID is real? It’s all fake news, just like those conservative political leaders say. There’s no overflowing ICU’s and no burnt-out nurses? IT’S ALL FAKE! Government overreach!  

Well, here’s a little suggestion. Call over to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and ask them what happened during the last surge and what’s building up now. Ask them how many died and how many left the hospital alive, but very sick. Ask the doctors and nurses. Is HMNH part of this vast conspiracy, also? Right here in the SCV, are there really hundreds of doctors and nurses and aids and financial managers – all making COVID stories up out of thin air? Hell, go over to Eternal Valley and ask, “Hey, how’s business?” 

The grave diggers must be in on the conspiracy, too. 

So, I got my booster shot last night. Carrie gets hers on Wednesday. All my kids have boosters, and their kids have their two shots. Bill Gates isn’t controlling my brain. Keys don’t stick to my forehead.  

BUT – and this is important – I’ve not gotten COVID, nor have any of the eight other family members I’ve mentioned. We’re all vaccinated and COVID-free. But I can list off a slew of non-vaccinated friends who got really sick, and sadly know of too many who have died or are permanently impaired. 

No one is out to get you. There is no vast conspiracy. This isn’t a religious issue, it’s a medical issue. No, it’s not about “free choice,” it’s about your responsibility for yourself and for society. Remember, when you land in the hospital – someone else pays that giant bill. When you infect someone else, it’s you who killed them or got them sick. Being unvaccinated is simply socially irresponsible. It’s selfish.  

Come on, let’s beat our political swords into vaccine needles. Get your first shots if you’ve not yet. And get your booster as soon as you can.  

You’ve already happily taken diphtheria, polio, measles, tetanus, meningitis and vaccines for so many other human plagues. Don’t allow this one to become a political tool for votes and clickbait. Follow science, not cynical political players. 

So today my left arm hurts a little. So what. Sure beats a ventilator or an air tank. 

Have a happy, safe, and COVID-free New Year! It’s your choice. Follow science and get jabbed. “It’s FREEEE!”  

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.

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