Updated: Mar 14, 2022
The country and the world are COVID crazy. I have studied the matter at length, and I have come to believe that there are a couple of obvious realities in play. The most important reality is that this virus does not seem to play by any set of rules, and I have come to believe that our response as a world is, at best blush, ill-advised and more likely irresponsible.
Now, nearly two years in, we finally have some better data to analyze. Based on information from multiple recognized sources we see that there has been a significant amount of misinformation surrounding incidence rates as well as other demographic factors. It is important to note that the data continues to have a very significant standard deviation, and thus guidelines, mitigation measures, and even vaccination status definitions are constantly changing. Translation no one really knows very much about the disease or its implications.
This disease seems to impact people without regard to age. It is true that the 0–17-year-old demographic has the lowest reported incidence rate as a percentage. However, because the overwhelming percentage of cases in this demographic come with little or no symptoms, I believe it is likely that the infection rate is significantly under reported, thus leveling the numbers.
Before I delve further, I will disclose to the reader that both my wife and I have been vaccinated for COVID. We made this decision for two reasons. The first, because we were concerned that we might infect others in a higher risk demographic. The second, we did not want our lives to be infringed upon by not having the vaccine. For example we were able to travel to Canada this past summer for a long-awaited fishing trip simply because we were vaccinated. I am acutely aware that the infringement of civil liberties is concerning, but for us it did not rise to the level of taking a stand.
We came to this conclusion after careful reflection. We both strongly believe that submitting to a vaccination should be a personal choice of anyone 18 years of age or older. After examining the numbers at length, I believe the following would be a reasonable person’s guide to decision making. First, one should consult their physician and make their decision after being informed on the matter by a medical professional.
Absent a medical recommendation, the data suggests the following would be a reasonable guide:
If you are over 75 years old or have significant comorbidities the data indicates that you should be vaccinated as the empirical evidence clearly demonstrates the risks of the vaccine are much less than the risks of COVID.
IF you are between 60-74, the data demonstrates a bias for the vaccine, but it is a close call.
If you are less than 60 this becomes a coin flip. The younger one is and the healthier one is the lower the risk of hospitalization or death. Statistically it is almost zero.
Returning to the children, since they are incapable of consenting, I see it as extraordinarily irresponsible to have them vaccinated. I truly fear that history will look back at this as nothing short of mandated and legalized child abuse. I do believe the risk is extremely low that the vaccine will create any long-term damage to our children, but the fact remains we simply do (and will not) know for some time the true and long term effects.
Think of it this way - When the extremely rare cases of hospitalizations, on-going symptoms or (god forbid) death were caused by the COVID virus there was a general consensus that “even one child harmed is too many”. And that was the justification for vaccinating these low-risk group. Now that the rare side-effects, hospitalizations, and deaths are starting to be associated with the vaccines, they are pushed aside as “a small price to pay for the greater good” or the “benefits outweighing the risks”.... But my concern is when children are dying after vaccination and still contracting and dying from COVID after vaccination, do the ends really justify the means?
By requiring our children to be vaccinated, we are placing them at risk in favor of a demographic that is more than 60 years their senior. Since the mortality rate of humans is 100%, we all must face the fact that we will at some point draw our last breath. At 63, I would never ask my grandchildren or anyone’s grandchildren to take on a risk, no matter how small, for my benefit.
This practice is nothing new. For all my lifetime, we have been placing undue burdens on our youth for the enhanced wellbeing of adults. Our national debt is on the precipice of $30T and there is no sign that we have any plan to curb it anytime soon. Our response to the pandemic is responsible for probably $8T of it. It is doubtful that I will live long enough to see any meaningful reduction in our debt and the odds are it will most likely be higher when I die. This leaves an overwhelming burden on the future generations.
We send our young men and women off to wars in foreign lands that we do not have the resolve to win. The rationale for entering such wars might well be valid, but we fail to have an end goal in mind. In WWII, the objective was clear, the surrender of Germany, Italy, and Japan. Now we enter endless wars where the objectives migrate. Our enemies simply wait us out and we lose our will to win. If it was just that simple it would be a tragedy but sadly it is far worse. Blood, treasure, and time are foolishly squandered. Again, the older of us place a huge burden on our youth that ends up being sheer folly. Unacceptable under any circumstance.
Since this pandemic has been thrust upon us, deaths from drug overdoses are up a stunning 28.3% and suicides among the under 35 demographics are up 5%, [numbers are sourced from the CDC]. Equally concerning is the meteoric rise in mental health cases. According to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, cases of people suffering with depression are skyrocketing. As with the other categories addressed, this statistic impacts the younger of us at a much higher rate. More details on the impact of the shutdowns can be found in the Kaiser report The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use.
It is not the “plague” itself, but our response to it that is to blame. Fear is an unbelievable motivator, and our leaders are masters at inflicting it. When gripped with fear, most become compliant, and compliance leads to authoritarianism.
We need to stop the hate and come together as a community of people. We need much more God and a whole lot less of leaders pontificating on matters that they claim are fact but in reality, are merely opinions.
Reader Note: I recognize that there are several lenses through which to view this matter. The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate a perspective that has not widely been communicated.
KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION: The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use
University of Minnesota - Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy: Depression triples in US adults amid COVID-19 stressors
CDC/National Center for Health Statistics: Drug Overdose Deaths in the U.S. Top 100,000 Annually
WebMD: Suicide Rates Declined in 2020, But Not for All Groups, CDC Says
The Lancet: Children and young people remain at low risk of COVID-19 mortality