Let’s Ponder This

Found in the Gonzales Inquirer (gonzalesinquirer.com) newspaper from Gonzales, Texas, January 6, 2022 issue:

Gonzales History

“1891 – January 29, the City Council passed an ordinance relating to vaccinations. Because of the danger of smallpox, all persons who have not been vaccinated shall be immediately vaccinated. The Council also recommends to all boards and superintendents that Sunday School and all other scholars be excluded until they have proof of vaccination. The Council has made arrangements with local physicians to vaccinate all indigent persons. The marshal is requested to see that this ordinance is strictly enforced.”

Smallpox was NASTY. You always knew when someone had it, and so had the option to run away at high speed. It was deadly, highly visible, incredibly painful, and wildly contagious. Whole towns, Indian tribes, and families were decimated by it. More, the physical surroundings were infectious. Sometimes all that could be done was burn an entire house down. People understood the danger.

In the Spanish flu pandemic, there are photos of masked guards on roads leading into towns ready to shoot people who refused to wear masks. There were no vaccinations. YEARS went by before it finally faded out. Infrastructure was damaged. Bodies piled up in alleys, on streets, because there weren’t enough people left healthy enough to collect them, much less bury them. Children were orphaned, often starving until they joined their parents in death. The photos are horrific. Yes, there are photos, because even then, journalists understood the historic events needed to be recorded, and some were willing to risk their lives to leave a warning for future descendants of survivors.

And here we are today. We went through the alarms of bird flu, swine flu, ebola, and various other fun times. Science researched and developed vaccines, learned about infection vectors, and came up with plans for pandemics in the future. Stockpiles of equipment, personal protection items, and medical paraphernalia were assembled. We were going to be ready!

SO WHAT HAPPENED? The plans were tossed, the stockpiles seem to have disappeared, millions are dying and have died, and the survival instincts of millions have disappeared. Bodies are piling up, infrastructure is breaking down, children are being orphaned, the hospitals are overwhelmed, and people are violently protesting being told to protect themselves, never mind others.

“I don’t trust the research.” Really? What do you know about research? You take Viagra, antibiotics, Ivermectin, and the latest “cure” or “prevention” you read about on social media, but don’t trust the work of people who have spent their entire LIVES trying to make sure the human race survives? You’ll trust your own immune system even though you can’t hold off the common cold? You see reports that MILLIONS have died from COVID and MILLIONS have survived getting vaccinated, but you don’t trust the vaccine?

I have a sister who likes to put a finger to her face and say “Let’s ponder this!” A few questions to ponder:

  1. Why are talking heads in the media and politicians getting vaccinated and boosted, but advising you with great fervor to avoid it?
  2. Why are they insisting you go out and socialize in person as if staying home will cause your brain to explode?
  3. Why are they insisting wearing a simple mask will make you a prisoner of the state, even though folks routinely cover their faces with scarves in the winter to keep their lips from getting chapped and their skin from feeling cold? Even though millions wear sunglasses year round so they won’t squint? You’ll wear sunblock to keep from getting a sunburn, but a mask to prevent death from an airborne disease is a violation of your civil rights?
  4. Why do they insist all the information about the pandemic is a hoax? Doctors are now going on Twitter to ask if hospitals have available space for patients because it’s taking too long to sit and phone all the hospitals they can think of to find one. No one ever thought we’d need a national clearinghouse of hospital availability! National Guardsmen are being deployed to help in hospitals because health care workers – huge surprise! – are getting sick, AND exhausted. Refrigerator trucks have to be used to hold dead bodies because they can’t get processed by morgues and funeral homes. Do these hoax fans think Hollywood is making big bucks arranging scenes for news crews and actors and actresses to cry from despair while they pretend to be health care workers?
  5. If they insist the pandemic is a hoax, why do they push weird “cures” and “preventions” like animal wormers, malaria pills, and household cleaners? Thanks to their doing their best to kill their listeners and fans with medicine for other medical ills, those suffering from the diseases and conditions the medicine is actually meant for can’t get what they need to stay alive or at least avoid great suffering.

Sheer survival instinct used to rule us as individuals and as groups. Protect the children, protect ourselves, make sure the community endures. What happened? Eleven years ago strangers went out of their way to help survivors and the injured escape buildings under attack. Many risked their lives. They didn’t worry about their jobs, appearance, or ask if the government knew what it was doing, or whether masks were a good idea as smoke and dust billowed.

Now folks are more interested in whose fault it is, who can be trusted, who should be giving orders. Maybe we should ponder this: When a tsunami warning goes out, it’s not really intelligent to stand on the beach and hold onto someone trying to run up a mountainside so you can argue that it’s not a tsunami, it’s a tidal wave, or it was caused by a government experiment, not an earthquake, or it’s better to get a boat even though they are now all beached. Know why? Because pretty soon the guy trying to escape is going to decide maybe they should just coldcock you and run.

It’s not just in the movies that people determined to survive decide those trying to stop them need to be removed. History has plenty of examples. If we don’t learn from history, it WILL be repeated. Other nations are already taking steps we think are too harsh. But their caseloads are dropping, and their healthcare systems are not crashing.

I’ve had COVID, before vaccines were available. My sister did, too, and nearly died. She was kept waiting for 12 hours before they could find a hospital bed for her. I don’t want to go through that again, but we did. She got a respiratory infection this past December, and again had to wait 12 hours for a hospital bed. I was sick with the same thing at home. Luckily I, as with my COVID infection, wasn’t QUITE sick enough to need hospitalization.

My mother’s in isolation right now. She tested negative, but her roommate tested positive. Her nursing home staff is shorthanded, and my mom is bedbound. Last year she was positive but asymptomatic. Most of her nursing home was not. Now it’s happening again. She’s not happy and neither am I. I’m especially not happy because the situation is made worse by people determined to act like they don’t notice a wave crashing around them, even as they drown.

I’m not going to say “Wear a mask! Socially distance! Get vaccinated!” even though I think anybody sensible should. I want this pandemic to end so I can eat out, visit my mom in the nursing home, play with my great-nephews and great-niece, go to church, and not worry so much about my two cancer patient sisters dying from something besides their cancer. I want to go to movie theaters, take a cruise, go to Disneyland. I want to go to science fiction conventions again.

I’m not living in fear. People who say that are idiots (and I use the word deliberately) because it shows they have no instinct for survival, which is basic to human life. It is not fear that causes us to mask, to distance, to vaccinate. It is the determination to stay alive, to stay as healthy as possible, to endure until better times come. I want to keep as many people as possible around me alive, to keep me company when better times come.

I just want people to ponder a few things. Are we being sensible, or foolish? Are we listening to strangers selling snake oil, or the scientists telling us to take cover as fireballs rain from the sky? Are we going to survive?