An Open Letter To The Unvaccinated

Blog #77- 7/28/21

By Richard Davis

If you are choosing to not get the COVID vaccine then you need to accept complete responsibility for your behavior. That means acknowledging the fact that you may be responsible for the suffering and death of others. It means that you should make an effort to keep away from other people while you wear a mask. But your selfish behavior has made it clear you will not make the effort to protect others.

American society is putting a lot of effort and money into trying to convince the unvaccinated to get the shot, but those efforts are resulting in less than adequate outcomes. The time has come to give up on the unvaccinated and start punishing them for putting the rest of us in danger.

Imagine this scenario. You suddenly are stricken with a life-threatening illness that requires you to be on a ventilator in a hospital ICU. You have been vaccinated against COVID and your problem is unrelated to COVID. You call 911 and an ambulance arrives to take you to the nearest hospital. You are near death and every minute counts.

The ambulance personnel contact the hospital and are told that they don’t have any available beds because their ICU’s and the rest of the hospital is overburdened with COVID cases. (Most reports indicate that 98% of people hospitalized with COVID are unvaccinated.)

When the ambulance people finally find a bed for you it is a two hour drive away and they will not be able to arrange for a helicopter. On the way to the hospital you have a cardiac arrest and die. If you had been inside a hospital at that time chances are the cardiac arrest would have been prevented and life-saving treatment could have begun in a timely manner.

It’s immoral that people are choosing to put other lives at risk. Some would believe that we would cross an ethical line if we tried to punish the unvaccinated by passing laws. But these are unprecedented times and thousands of lives are on the line. The time for unenforceable suggestions has passed.

I would not go so far as to deny the unvaccinated care, but insurance companies should think about not paying for care when an unvaccinated person racks up thousands of dollars in hospital bills. High insurance payouts mean that the rest of us will eventually pay higher premiums. In the world of health insurance we are all affected by everything that happens.

It is possible that some of the unvaccinated might change their minds if they knew that their insurance company would not pay for their COVID-related care. Hitting people in the pocketbook has always been an effective strategy in many circumstances.

More and more workplaces are requiring vaccination and that may be our best hope for increasing the vaccination rate. From what I see on a daily basis, too many people are acting as if the pandemic is over and that is why COVID case rates are surging.

As it becomes clear that the unvaccinated will only take the shot if forced to do so we must protect ourselves from them and treat them like the social pariahs that they are.

Comments | 4

  • Selfish. . . Immoral? Pariahs?

    Did Richard Davis forget that for some of us, special risk factors underly the decision not to get the vaccine: a conscious, intelligent decision made in consultation with our physician?

    Not only does shaming people result in their being even less likely to comply, so it is a stupid way to address the matter; but it is irresponsible to encourage the public to treat their unvaccinated neighbors, “like the social pariahs that they are.”

  • Please note that I said I was referring to people who c

    Please note that I said I was referring to people who choose not to get vaccinated. When there are valid medical reasons to get vaccinated you do not choose to be unvaccinated. Maybe I should have made that clearer.

  • "Choose" not to be vaccinated.

    Richard, “choose” does not denote the reason for the choice. One might choose not to vaccinated because of a medical reason. Before going into print, it is a good idea to choose your words with care.

    And the other point: Did you consider the efficacy of urging people to treat the unvaccinated as pariahs? Surely you must know that ostracism is more likely to result in an increase of resistance than an in compliance.

  • Apology

    July 31, 2021

    Richard Davis

    My recent tirade against the unvaccinated was mean-spirited and not in keeping with the level of respect that I try to maintain for my readers. While the pandemic has caused even greater polarization during these polarized times, my words only added to the polarization and I regret that.
    When you put your thoughts out into the public domain you try to understand that there are people of many viewpoints to consider. In this case I tried to paint the unvaccinated with too broad a brushstroke and I know that offended some.
    It would have been easier to simply urge the unvaccinated to be careful and respectful of others. Once you become too emotionally attached to an issue you run the risk of turning up the heat on a boiling pot.
    But I do want people to consider the fact that COVID and its variants are more preventable than other diseases we are faced with and to put as much effort as possible into weighing the pro’s and con’s of vaccination.
    I also want to recognize the fact that many people have not been vaccinated because of medical issues and/or because of deeply held beliefs about healing, health and a concern for anything they put into their body.
    We can learn from mis-steps and I hope I will be able to tread more carefully in the future.

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