A couple of days ago someone made this comment on my post “The COVID Situation in Peru After 16 Months” which gave a highly detailed analysis of extensive COVID data and how the drastic improvements across Peru mirror the successful vaccination program going on across the country:
“Sir, I have an issue with you BLAMING ex-pats, who choose not to get vaccinated. We do a lot of research and this so-called vaccine is in the experimental stages and not yet approved by FDA.
I choose not to be a guinea pig or lab rat for this. Good for you that you do, but why are you worried about the likes of me if you’re vaccinated. Shouldn’t that protect you?
See, that’s the part you guys don’t get.
Love and Blessings”
To be honest, I was amazed that someone would take the time to write something like this, but instead of responding as a reply, I thought a detailed post would be far more appropriate as there are a great many people both in Peru — especially in Cusco’s Sacred Valley expat community centering on Pisac — and the United States who have made it their mission to spread serious misinformation throughout the pandemic.
First it was about mask wearing. Despite the massive amounts of evidence that masks are an effective tool in limiting the spread of COVID-19, the continued to argue against masks on social media without providing the tiniest bit of evidence to support their assertions while at the same time ignoring the science that already existed as well as the body of evidence that has continued to grow over time.
Then their focus became vaccinations again based on zero evidence and a complete lack of understanding of things like science and medicine and basic math.
“Sir, I have an issue with you BLAMING ex-pats, who choose not to get vaccinated.”
I found it very interesting that she did not care to explain what I was blaming expats for. Making accusations without even the most basic premise is worthless, but let me try to explain what I am blaming those expats for who choose not to vaccinate.
I blame them for not doing the single most effective thing there is to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 both to themselves and from themselves to others. And by promoting anti-vaccine misinformation they are promoting the deaths of people who don’t have to die.
Let me say that one more time for emphasis in case it was unclear the first time.
Not getting vaccinated and pushing anti-vaccine falsehoods leads to people dying who don’t have to die.
Anyone who thinks that is a good thing has serious issues that go far beyond anything I can write about here.
“We do a lot of research and this so-called vaccine is in the experimental stages and not yet approved by FDA.”
Sorry, but even an elementary school child is taught that doing research does not mean looking for answers that fit what you want to believe. In fact, what you “believe” has nothing to do with research at all.
Research is studying, through a variety of methods, seeking to reach a conclusion based on the evidence and data uncovered. It is not seeking data and evidence to support a pre-conceived, baseless conclusion. That is what kids learn very early in school, but many appear to have forgotten that significant lesson.
- There is such thing as “this…vaccine.” There are several vaccines being administered across the world — even in Peru — so I have no idea what she was referring to unless she didn’t know what is the current situation regarding vaccines.
- The “so-called” vaccine as she said is actually a growing number of vaccines called that because there is a mountain of evidence showing their efficacy. They are called vaccines because they work and because their effectiveness is proven. (More on that below.)
- Several vaccines ar approved by the FDA and are not in the “experimental” stage. She must have missed that part of the FDA’s announcements when they granted emergency authorization. (And by the way, the FDA is a US governmental organization. Other countries, like Peru, make their own decisions about authorization, but often respect FDA approval in conjunction with examination of the data presented by the various drug companies. This kind of data is not reported in secret and is published with as much transparency as possible.
- While full FDA approval has not yet been granted for any vaccines, that is due to the FDA procedures rather than any doubts about vaccine efficacies. Again, a lack of knowledge of what she (and others) are using as a basis for argument makes the argument look even more silly.
Not surprisingly, she didn’t share any of this “research” that she mentioned. (As usual, going after me personally is always far easier than engaging in real discussion of facts and evidence.)
“I choose not to be a guinea pig or lab rat for this. Good for you that you do, but why are you worried about the likes of me if you’re vaccinated. Shouldn’t that protect you?
See, that’s the part you guys don’t get.”
No one asks you to be a “guinea pig or a lab rat”. That is meaningless rhetoric that has no useful part of an intelligent discussion except to again show a lack of understanding of what is going on with current vaccines.
Hundreds of millions of people have been given the major vaccines across the world. Let that sink in — hundreds of millions. While issues and complications do arise, some people also have issues drinking milk or taking aspirin. The miniscule number of major issues that have arisen are even less, but to recognize that involves looking at actual data. Doing so would shoot down another part of that pre-conceived anti-vaccine conclusion and that simply can’t be allowed.
Why do I care? I don’t want people to die who don’t have to die. If that’s a problem for anti-vaccine misinformation proponents then, as I said before, they have some other serious issues with basic humanity and decency that I’m not going to get into here.
Currently, in the US, 99.5% of the people dying from COVID-19 are unvaccinated. If that isn’t enough to make an anti-vaxxer change their tune, then nothing will. I am vaccinated and the chances of me spreading it to someone else is negligible and the chances of me being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19 basically does not exist.
Apparently the part that guys like me do get is the part about worrying not only about ourselves, but about others, too. I’m not the least bit ashamed to stand up and say that I care about others around me and that I don’t allow misinformation to influence my promotion of ideas that will kill other people.
That’s why I’m writing this post — because I care and because other human beings matter to me.
I continue to research real science all the time instead of reading social media and watching YouTube videos by people who make money off by feeding the ignorance of others.
I know this post will anger the expat crowd who live in their own fantasy bubble about mask wearing and vaccines. The threats and attacks will start up again, but I’d rather stand up for what’s right and try to protect people’s lives. It’s not easy and most people won’t do it because the simple thing is to do like she said and just worry about myself. Pushing the “publish” button on this post won’t be easy, but knowing people are dying because of the lies, untruths, and misinformation being spread by the anti-vaccine crowd is enough motivation.
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