Endless Covid: A Thank You Note to the Unvaccinated

Vaccine refusal and the US’s consequential Delta variant surge has taught us one thing as Americans: we are done for.

Like the toxoplasmosis parasite that infects mice brains, causing them to lose their fear of cats, the unvaccinated mice strut around before the cat. But when they become infected with the Delta variant, toxoplasmosis leaves their brain, and they act rationally. Then, the unvaccinated Covid patient sprints back to the medical science that they had shunned and opt for any treatment available, often experimental in nature.

The post-truth/alternative facts zeitgeist has long infected America.

It may have been humorous when Trump’s team contended that his 2017 inauguration attracted the largest crowd in history, despite clear evidence to the contrary. But post-truth norms infected the Trump minion party (which is what the GOP became shortly after Trump took office) and progressively worsened, reaching a climax during the pandemic and the January 6th Capitol attacks. Today these alt facts are the main driver of the social irresponsible decision not to get the vaccine or wear masks.

The vaccine could end the pandemic, but 39% of Americans aren’t taking it. Meanwhile, as of early August, only 1.1% of people in low-income countries have received the vaccine – and people there are far more likely to get the jab.

To moderate extent, Biden has offered help. In June, he vowed to send 500 million vaccine doses for global use by mid-2022, which will amount to having 250 million additional people vaccinated. The New York Times estimated that ten US states wasted a total of 1 million doses of Covid vaccines; adjusted to the US population, that’s 5 million. Sensing this waste, and the discrepancy between US anti-vax sentiment compared with the rest of the world, Biden donated 110 million surplus doses globally in early August.

Most GOP leaders, while getting the vaccine themselves, refrain from advising their supporters to take it, for fear the Trump mob and the far-right media will have someone challenge them in the next primary. Much like a death cult, the far-right media, GOP supporters and Republican politicians seem to be doing do all they can to spread the deadly disease. Thanks to this death cult, we’ll all continue to suffer.

The question remains, when you’re on a highway and the road ends, do you keep driving straight off the cliff? The latest surge, though caused a slight rise in vaccinations, hasn’t caused the driver to turn the wheel.

Thanks to Fox News, Breitbart and the Trump minion party, it looks like the US will be stuck in Covid pandemic hell for the foreseeable future.

As a prolific author from the Boston area, Peter F. Crowley writes in various forms, including short fiction, op-eds, poetry and academic essays. In 2020, his poetry book Those Who Hold Up the Earth was published by Kelsay Books and received impressive reviews by Kirkus Review, the Bangladeshi New Age and two local Boston-area newspapers. His writing can be found in Middle East Monitor, Znet, 34th Parallel, Pif Magazine, Galway Review, Digging the Fat, Adelaide’s Short Story and Poetry Award anthologies (finalist in both) and The Opiate.

His forthcoming books, due out later in 2023, are That Night and Other Stories (CAAB Publishing) and Empire’s End (Alien Buddha Press)