I have to ask, gentle reader, if there comes a point, any point, when you will accept your responsibility for what your decisions have wrought upon your community? In an age of personal non-accountability (with President Bill Clinton as the era’s poster-child) the current phase we are in appears to be setting a new bar for reckless turpitude.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not writing this piece to rehash the subjective arguments some of you are pretending to have. Rather, I am writing because it is past time to recognize, with the demise of this year’s Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival, that national political divisions and biases are now hitting us at home, where we work, live and play.

Or put another way: The free exercise by some people of our “freedom” have killed the Pumpkin Festival (and too many people to count) for this year. Those personal exercises of freedom have thus materially harmed everyone in our community, costing us more than $1 million in revenue to the community.

It should be blatantly obvious in a functioning society that your personal choices are fine, at least up to the point where they harm someone else. When your personal exercise of your “freedom” to not mask up, or perhaps even more importantly to not get vaccinated, results in mass deaths, and even the cancellation of important events in our community, then it is time to take a deep breath and acknowledge that freedom is not just the right to do whatever you want, it’s also a societal right not to be unduly harmed by the reckless actions of other people. (This is why we have speed limits that obviously interfere with your “freedom” to drive at whatever speed you wish. They protect the community and you too for that matter, and we obey them for the obvious reason that to fail to do so places others at risk — and ourselves at risk of a ticket.)

Simple math shows that our latest local casualty — the loss of the Pumpkin Festival — is without question attributable to those of you who have chosen not to be vaccinated as a matter of choice. (Rather than for an ostensibly legitimate health reason, for which I confess I cannot imagine such a thing, but still …)

It is fact that the choice to remain unvaccinated is now affecting our community (and our nation) and it’s time for those who have made this choice to personally acknowledge that fact and reckon with both the damage that you have done, as well as the damage you are continuing to do by remaining unvaccinated.

Before you protest too much, let’s be honest once again: The math proving your culpability is inescapable. In the current surge of cases, roughly 90 percent of infections and more than 99 percent of hospitalizations are in the unvaccinated population. This disparity, despite the paradoxical truth that 54 percent of eligible Americans are fully vaccinated and 46 percent remain unvaccinated.

As to the role your choice to remain unvaccinated is playing in the current outbreak, please consider that on Sept. 9 there were roughly 149,000 infections confirmed in the United States. The 179 million Americans who have been vaccinated infected a paltry total of approximately 14,000 people. On the other hand, our 150 million unvaccinated folks managed to infect 130,000 fellow Americans.

Right now, the unvaccinated among us are infecting other Americans at a rate of nearly 1 million people per week! And a quarter of those people are children.

All of which brings me back to the beginning of this piece and the idea of personal responsibility and accountability. When I meet you in the market, or on the street, I have no way of knowing if you have been vaccinated or not. For the most part I also don’t know your politics. None of us do. Only you can possibly know these things, as only you can choose to accept what is real and what isn’t.

It’s past time for all of us to accept our responsibilities to our community, our neighbors, our family and ourselves. If we don't, this is not going to be the last Pumpkin Festival we will miss, and this pandemic will continue to extract its deadly toll on all of us, one life and one festival at a time.

David Eblovi is a resident of Half Moon Bay.

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(6) comments

JustinStockman

Thank you for taking time to put this together. The data here is startling, and paints an informative picture of the impacts of denialism.

This is worthy reading for most vaccine holdouts. While the typical few will bring their rerun faceless arguments to the discussion, I do think anyone who has so far refused vaccination is entitled to the facts.

For the record, I am 100% for personal choice. I do think every mentally competent adult has the right to refuse the vaccine. What they’re not entitled to is continued shielding from the consequences. Those who refuse the vaccine should be 100% liable for the costs of their treatment should they become infected. They should be subject to civil action if their infection can be traced to others. They should be subject to criminal investigation should a child or other person without decision making ability be negatively affected by the decision made for them.

Refusing vaccination is kind of like getting drunk. It’s not advisable, and if it harms someone else it’s criminal. But no one is saying you can’t get drunk.

Remember when personal freedom and personal accountability used to be a package deal? Only the most childish would expect freedom without accountability.

Scott McVicker

No. Dearly and Desperately no.

This is an example of The Narrative falling back on what I told you about earlier this year…that of finding someone to blame because they are not getting their way. In this instance, blaming those who have taken a wait and see approach to the experimental injectable versus those (the unquestioning) who could not wait to get jabbed.

Currently, it has become evident that the “very safe, highly efficacious” experimental therapies which were rolled out at the end of 2020 (and continuing into this year) have some problems. Reported side effects firstly. Now indications that the induced immunity offered by the injectable is wearing off. It does not last as long as, nor does it confer as robust an immunity from infection as natural immunity. So demands that everyone – including those who have developed natural immunity - be subjected to the failing experiment ring hollow, don’t they? They do.

As far as the damage that was done to the local economy and assigning blame, look to the process by which the decision was made. Five Councilmembers, interpreting as best they could the information they had in their possession, and exerting what they considered due caution regarding possible consequences of their decision, cancelled the Festival. It is on them. Buck stopping and all that.

Ground Hog Days

We overcome the reluctance to return to a normal life by exorcising the lies to which we have been subjected. This must involve a re-examination of how “deadly” this virus is, placing this threat in context with regards to our lives and acknowledging that it will never be going away. Here is a start on that path:

The “deadly virus”…

From the World Health Organization, the following text about the Infection Fatality Rate of the COVID-19 virus:

Across 51 locations, the median COVID-19 infection fatality rate was 0.27% (corrected 0.23%): the rate was 0.09% in locations with COVID-19 population mortality rates less than the global average (<� 118 deaths/million), 0.20% in locations with 118–500 COVID-19 deaths/million people and 0.57% in locations with > 500 COVID-19 deaths/million people. In people <� 70 years, infection fatality rates ranged from 0.00% to 0.31% with crude and corrected medians of 0.05%.

Conclusion The infection fatality rate of COVID-19 can vary substantially across different locations, and this may reflect differences in population age structure and casemix of infected and deceased patients and other factors. The inferred infection fatality rates tended to be much lower than estimates made earlier in the pandemic.

End.of.quote

So, if you actually fell ill with COVID, the chances that you would die were always very small. Applied to a large population, even this small fraction can yield a large number. But that does not change the thinking about the IFR. Some of you may find commentary from Imperial College London promoting an IFR of 1.5%...but remember, this is the same group whose computer model drove the initial panic.

…more as time permits…

Topics: Testing, “Cases”, Recordkeeping, Treatment (or lack thereof), Early Treatment.

George

There are always those that just prefer to argue - facts be damned. The more overwhelming the facts, the more they dig in.

For those, I offer these (just a few examples from Today’s news):

1. “Delta variant: Unvaccinated and vaccinated people 'are not in the same ballpark' of risk, doctor explains, https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/delta-variant-unvaccinated-and-vaccinated-people-are-not-in-the-same-ballpark-in-terms-of-risk-141843308.html

2. “Another radio host who urged listeners to boycott COVID-19 vaccines dies from COVID-19”, https://www.yahoo.com/news/conservative-radio-hosts-anti-vaccine-die-from-covid-184420178.html

3. “Jake Tapper grills Mississippi governor: 'Your way is failing’”, https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/09/19/sotu-reeves-bad-method.cnn (video)

Mississippi, btw, consistently resides at the bottom in the nation in education. One can’t help wonder if it’s coincidence.

4. For those interested in what the CDC offers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Covid-19 has dominated the news for almost two (2) years now. Over 660,000 of our fellow Americans have died from this virus, so far. How many more deaths we will see will depend on how many more get, or don’t get, the widely available and free vaccines.

I ask again; Please get vaccinated, for the love of life and for everyone’s benefit. Thank you.

George

This is what CA requires to enter a school:

California requires students TK/Kindergarten through 12th grade to have the following immunizations:

Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis (DTaP, DTP, Tdap, or Td) — 5 doses. ...

Polio (OPV or IPV) — 4 doses. ...

Hepatitis B — 3 doses. ...

Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) — 2 doses. ...

Varicella (Chickenpox) — 2 doses

I think it’s safe to say that, while sometimes stressful to parents (worried about reactions), hundreds of millions of children somehow managed to survive (and thrive) decades after getting the required shots. Heck, some of them even became President!

Secondly, I’d like to address our freedom of speech. We are so fortunate to have a free reign to speak our minds on just about anything, anytime and any place. There are, of course, exceptions, however. Screaming Fire in a crowded theatre would be one (referencing social media and right wing talk shows).

The longer some don’t face facts, the more this virus (and others) will mutate. Experts project that sooner or later this virus will mutate into one that will be immune to any vaccine. Gee, that sounds like fun.

Perhaps an incentive might help.

We are placing our medical professionals in the staggering position of choosing who gets treatment. Hospitals across the country have experienced packed Emergency rooms and ICU beds from Covid (for almost two years now) … with more coming in for treatment. Because Covid has been such a demanding attention getter medical staff regularly have to make choices on who gets care and who doesn’t. That is fundamentally wrong, imho. So what are some solutions?

One might be that any non-vaccinated person who visits a hospital with Covid would be fiscally responsible for their care - whether they live or die. If they die, their family would carry that obligation. Further, should they be treated, it would be After any other non-Covid patient. Personally, I’d include elective procedures before non-vaxxed patients.

The irresponsible chatter on social media and talk shows is costing us lives. Think for yourself. Read the facts and disregard the chatter.

Please, if you haven’t been vaccinated, get the shots - PLEASE. And continue to wear those irritating masks until such time as we can confirm that we’re done with this. Thank you, in advance.

George

Here is but one example that supports the author's points and mine as well: "Dad Urges Vaccinations After Son's Appendix Bursts While Waiting to Get into Crowded Florida ER”, https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/dad-urges-vaccinations-sons-appendix-192129750.html

The news has been littered with examples just like this one for some time now.

George

Not sure what happened, but here's the rest of it:

1. “Delta variant: Unvaccinated and vaccinated people 'are not in the same ballpark' of risk, doctor explains, https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/delta-variant-unvaccinated-and-vaccinated-people-are-not-in-the-same-ballpark-in-terms-of-risk-141843308.html

2. “Another radio host who urged listeners to boycott COVID-19 vaccines dies from COVID-19”, https://www.yahoo.com/news/conservative-radio-hosts-anti-vaccine-die-from-covid-184420178.html

3. “Jake Tapper grills Mississippi governor: 'Your way is failing’”, https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2021/09/19/sotu-reeves-bad-method.cnn (video)

Mississippi, btw, consistently resides at the bottom in the nation in education. One can’t help wonder if it’s coincidence.

4. For those interested in what the CDC offers: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html

Covid-19 has dominated the news for almost two (2) years now. Over 660,000 of our fellow Americans have died from this virus, so far. How many more deaths we will see will depend on how many more get, or don’t get, the widely available and free vaccines.

I ask again; Please get vaccinated, for the love of life and for everyone’s benefit. Thank you.

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