As my friend Emily Barsh wrote in a guest op-ed here Tuesday, every day we’re all waking up to bats**t crazy comments and remarks from a gaslit public on nearly every single topic. Just before publishing her piece I’d been driving around town on Mom Taxi duty listening to “On Air With Ryan Seacrest,” the morning drive show on Los Angeles’ KIIS-FM. I regularly listen to that show on the morning commute and have always enjoyed it, but yesterday’s discussion about the etiquette of asking party guests if they’ve had a COVID jab and perhaps even uninviting unvaccinated guests was, I’m sorry, bats**t crazy in so many ways.
Seacrest’s longtime co-host, Sisanie, is pregnant with her third child (second pregnancy, though – her oldest are twins) and planning a baby “sprinkle,” which is similar to a baby shower but for women on their second (or third or fourth) pregnancy. The idea is that the family already has the big-ticket items but will still need a few things, like diapers, wipes, and perhaps clothes for a different season or gender. In planning the invitations, Sisanie had a dilemma she wanted her co-hosts’ help with:
The issue is…with COVID and everything – and I know that we’re gonna kinda be getting out of it. And this will be in June so it’ll be closer to that June 15th deadline of feeling safer, I guess. I am trying to keep it small…but it’s still kind of a lot of people. And in my head I’m like, do I put on the invitation, ‘hope you’re vaccinated!’ How do you – is that tacky? Like, do I just not mention it? I really hope that everyone comes vaccinated, but it’s just like… that’s my dilemma.
Well, first of all, what is the deal with people “feeling safer” because some government officials (or in this case, one, Gavin Newsom) set an arbitrary date for reopening? So many people have been brainwashed over the last year to put full faith in everything a government official says about how to handle this pandemic without seriously questioning any of it.
But anyway, back to Sisanie’s dilemma. I want to say at the start that Sisanie and everybody else have the absolute right to choose who they want to allow in their home using any criteria they wish. And, from listening to the segment, Sisanie genuinely cares about the safety and well-being of all of her friends and family even if she doesn’t agree with their vaccination choice.
Seacrest enthusiastically jumped in with his opinion:
This is so easy for me. Now learning about what a baby sprinkle is, if you feel like you want to have that clarity and that security, then you ask for it. Like, don’t think twice about it. That’s what you want.
So forget about how it’s gonna come off. It’s safety. It’s health.
Co-host Tanya Rad had another idea:
You can always give the option that the airlines do, with the – you can just bring a negative COVID test. Or they can keep their masks on the whole time.
Throughout the conversation Sisanie pushed back, saying it seems so harsh and completely crazy to require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test before people can come into her home. Seacrest zealously pushed his opinion:
Sisanie, this is about the health of your family, right, and your kids. So, okay, guess what, sorry, I want proof that you’re, you know, vaccinated or COVID free.
Any time that I saw people at a house over the last couple of months, they said, proof. Like, my friend Ted and Michelle said they want to see proof of a negative [COVID] test. And I didn’t feel bad about it at all.
So if someone hasn’t been vaccinated, Seacrest thinks it’s courteous to subject your friends and family to the expense and extreme discomfort of a COVID test every single time they come over? They could become infected between the time they take the test and get the results, or between the time they get the results and attend the event. The only thing that piece of paper proves is that the person wasn’t infected when the sample was taken, so what friggin good does it do days later?
Seacrest would likely say, “Well, then, get vaccinated.” What if the guest had the Wuhan flu in the last 90 days? They’re supposed to be at the back of the line for vaccination if they do decide to get jabbed. What if the guest had it a year ago? I’ve heard repeatedly in the media and from friends, “Well, you should still get vaccinated because we don’t know how long those antibodies last.” We don’t, but as the New York Times reported nearly six months ago, that time frame is measured by years, not months.
How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study….
Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come.
Some would reply that even if one has immunity from prior illness, those antibodies aren’t as good as the vaccine-induced antibodies. As of this writing, there is no data to suggest that natural antibodies are less effective than vaccine-induced, though the severity of a natural infection can affect the level of antibodies in one’s blood. But, if the person who’s concerned about becoming sick is vaccinated, what does that even matter?
I’ve also had people tell me that even though I was infected with coronavirus and became moderately ill, that I can still have an asymptomatic reinfection and unknowingly expose others. Not true, according to Dr. Alessandro Sette, an immunologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology (from the same New York Times article referenced above):
[Most] often, people become infected a second time with a particular pathogen, and the immune system recognizes the invader and quickly extinguishes the infection. The coronavirus in particular is slow to do harm, giving the immune system plenty of time to kick into gear.
“It may be terminated fast enough that not only are you not experiencing any symptoms but you are not infectious,” Dr. Sette said.
And, why are the personal medical choices of family and friends the business of Ryan Seacrest? Is he going to require a letter from their doctor if the vaccine is not recommended for them, or simply not allow them in his home? Or if his family or friends have a letter from the Department of Health showing when they had their documented coronavirus illness, is that good enough? (I personally wouldn’t hang out with anyone who didn’t take me at my word, though. What kind of friendship is that?)
Hearing that there were going to be – gasp – 30 people, Tanya says, “Everyone needs to be vaccinated.” But do they? When Ryan asked how many of those 30 people have been vaccinated, Sisanie replied:
I think the majority have, but I have some of my best girlfriends that I know for a fact that they’re not gonna get vaccinated because they just don’t want to, and that’s their choice. So then I feel like I’m discriminating [against] them, you know, in not including them.
Hearing that Seacrest went even harder, insisting it’s Sisanie’s moral duty to demand vaccination proof.
No, you’re not. That’s their choice to not get vaccinated, and trust me, you’re not the only person that’s gonna say you can’t come without proof. I guarantee you that. I promise you that.
Matter of fact, I think it would be irresponsible not to say it. Just my opinion.
Think they’re outliers? They then took a call from a woman who’s getting married, who said:
I’m very similar. I definitely feel like I can be a total people-pleaser too, but I agree with Ryan wholeheartedly on this….It’s an outdoor wedding in July and we’re putting on our invitations that we want either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test just because, like, I agree, like, if it’s safety on the line, like, you just want everyone to feel as comfortable as possible, like, yourself included. And people are gonna have more fun if they feel safe and everyone will just have a better time.
And just last night I heard from a friend on Twitter, a woman who also lives in Los Angeles, who said that her friends won’t hang out with her in person unless she’s vaccinated. They’re all vaccinated, so why do they care if other people are or aren’t?
In Ryan’s next remark we get to the real heart of the matter. It’s all about how your actions seem and make people feel, not about following the science.
I think it makes you seem so much more – what’s the right word? Not generous, but — responsible to say that.
No, it makes you seem bats**t crazy. And as we all know, that syndrome surpassed pandemic levels in Los Angeles a long time ago. When the radio station did a Twitter poll about Sisanie’s predicament, nearly 80 percent of the (only 43) respondents agreed that people should demand personal health information from their friends and family and don’t care about science.
— 102.7 KIIS FM (@1027KIISFM) April 20, 2021
You can listen to the segment here.