Or maybe it’s the concept of nuance.
There I was on the internet, minding the world’s business when I came across this tweet from the New York Post containing an article with the headline “Anti-mandate teacher in Illinois reveals she had been vaccinated for months.”
Before I proceed, I want to commend the New York Post for using the term “anti-mandate” instead of using the term “anti-vax” as the two aren’t mutually exclusive, and that’s what I want to focus on for a moment.
The article centers around Illinois teacher Kadence Koen who had refused to provide proof of having had the vaccine or submitting to weekly testing for the virus. Instead, she took unpaid leave, and all of it because she was (as the title suggested) against the vaccine mandates.
Ah, but a twist:
But the 43-year-old teacher, who is on unpaid leave until Nov. 17, finally uploaded a copy of her vaccination card to Gina McLaughlin-Schurman, the district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, the news outlet said.
It showed she got her first dose in June and the second on July 19, well before Gov. JB Pritzker issued the mandate about school personnel.
Koen, who until Wednesday had to fulfill a “remediation plan” set out by the district on Oct. 27, also posted her vaccination card on her Facebook page on Saturday, saying she expected to be back in class after revealing her status.
She said she decided to come clean because she wanted to get back to her students.
Koen said that if she was going to be forced to choose between her personal beliefs and her students, then she chooses her students, and added that she can’t imagine her life without teaching.
Amid the article was a post that Koen had made on Facebook of her frustrated cartoon avatar amid a background of flames containing the text “Anti-mandate does not mean anti-vaccination. It means pro-freedom, pro-medical autonomy, pro-liberty. Shouldn’t all Americans agree with freedom of choice?”
I agree wholeheartedly, and I think the word anti-vaxxer gets thrown around in the same way I see many accusatory labels like “homophobe” thrown around.
It’s true that there are people out there who are 100 percent against vaccines and while I disagree with that idea I absolutely respect it. Vaccines have been known to have some nasty side effects, and while the debate rages on about how nasty, I think it’s far worse to say they’re completely and totally safe than say you want to stay away from them completely.
I’ve never faulted anyone for being cautious, but I do think being a liar is a pretty bad personality trait.
Truth is, these miracle COVID-19 vaccines don’t appear to be harmless at all. There’s evidence that it causes spontaneous abortions, and even medical staff have been caught on camera surmising that it causes inflammation of the heart. These are just a couple of the issues some have related to the vaccine after having been injected with it. Research is ongoing, but it’s hard not to look at the evidence and come to the conclusion that these vaccines do have some serious negative side effects sometimes.
It’s not surprising that many people aren’t willing to take it, choosing instead to risk catching a virus with a 99 percent survival rate and seeing many don’t even exhibit symptoms for when they have it.
So it’s no wonder many don’t want a vaccine mandate. They have very legitimate reasons for not wanting the vaccine and they don’t want to have to suffer for not getting it. They shouldn’t be forced to get it. It’s wrong to force them on a very moral level, and there are many in America like Koen who got the vaccine but did so because it was her choice, not because she was forced. She’s not anti-vax, she’s anti-mandate, and I consider being anti-mandate far nobler than those yahoos out there shouting obscenities and talking down to the people about health and safety.
But these people are so blinded by their own moral high horse that they don’t see that forcing people to inject themselves with something they don’t want is wrong and they label anyone who disagrees with them as “anti-vax.”
Here’s the bottom line. If you’re throwing the term “anti-vax” around without due consideration, you’re far more ignorant than the people you’re accusing of being uneducated for resisting the vaccine. Full stop.
Blind fear is a far more contagious and destructive virus than COVID-19, and it’s time we start focusing on nuance.