In Missouri, people are sneaking in to get vaccinated for COVID.

Think about that. People are afraid that their own families might chastise them for taking action that could save their lives.

This is what we’ve come to.

Let’s start with the basics. Every excuse you’ve heard for not getting vaccinated for COVID isn’t true. The vaccine has, in fact, been adequately tested for use in this situation. The vaccine is, in fact, highly effective. It is, in fact, everyone’s business that we all get vaccinated.

Here are the facts:

Virtually everyone who is hospitalized and dies right now from COVID is unvaccinated.

Virtually everyone who is vaccinated is protected from severe COVID effects.

The three vaccines currently approved in the US are all effective.

By refusing vaccination, you are endangering not just yourself and family and everyone you come in contact with who is unvaccinated, you increase the chance that new variants will take hold. The longer we go without herd immunity, the greater the chance of variants that will no longer be adequately covered by vaccines.

Remember that herd immunity?

Of course you do. Last year, before we had the vaccines, many people claimed that they thought we should seek herd immunity. So they refused to wear masks. Some actually tried to get COVID. Some of them died.

Herd immunity is how we have dealt with deadly diseases for centuries. Deadly diseases like polio, measles, chicken pox, and others were all eradicated by herd immunity.

For every single one of them, that herd immunity was reached by the use of vaccines.

I’ll repeat that. Vaccines are how we reach herd immunity.

Here’s the thing. “Natural” herd immunity requires people to die. Vaccinations create herd immunity without people dying.

We have the benefit of living in an age where we can develop vaccines even for novel diseases like COVID, for which we have no natural immunity. We either let people reach herd immunity naturally by letting them become infected, or we get there using vaccines.

COVID has a mortality rate of something like 2% in the US.*

There are about 330 million Americans.

If we let everyone get infected “naturally,” that could mean the deaths of over 6 million Americans.

None of that is necessary. Zero. None.

We have a vaccine. We’ve used vaccines to protect ourselves from every other deadly disease. We’re required to have a set of vaccinations before we start kindergarten. Most colleges require standard vaccinations. We. Do. It. All. The. Time.

So there is no legitimate excuse for refusing to be vaccinated for COVID.

Getting vaccinated will allow us back to a “normal” life. This isn’t hard. Without the vaccine we may never return to “normal.” All because too many people refuse to get vaccinated.

So wear a disguise if you have to. But get vaccinated.

For you. For your loved ones. For the economy.

It’s the natural thing to do.

It’s free.

It’s easy.

It’s even patriotic.

Get vaccinated.

*Case fatality rate is more complicated than just saying 2%. If you’re into statistics, you can read more here.

David J. Kent is an avid traveler, scientist, and Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved AmericaTesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World as well as two specialty e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.

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