America’s Finally Telling the Anti-Vax Nuts Where They Can Go
And now we need even more mandates ahead of the nation’s busiest travel season.
It took long enough but it finally seems like the majority, which chooses life instead of eating horse paste during a pandemic, is fed up and forcing private and public action in the hopes of flattening the virus and escaping the nihilistic grip of a suicidal GOP death cult.
Just like progressive Democrats are holding the line to protect President Biden’s ambitious and necessary reconciliation and infrastructure package, the rest of us must also do our part to ensure we are not killed in the zealous culture war of the radicalized right wing that has weaponized masks and vaccines as a means of achieving white Christian Valhalla. Last week, I wrote that we must completely dispense with thoughts and prayers and placating conversations to convince vaccine-hesitant Americans. Instead, it’s time to lay the boom down with vaccine mandates across schools, airlines, and businesses before winter, which is the nation’s busiest travel season.
It seems Democratic leadership and major companies were listening.
In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom—who just survived a costly, wasteful recall where Larry Elder, his Republican opponent, said slave-owners were due reparations—just announced that the most populous state in the nation will require coronavirus vaccine mandates for all schoolchildren in the coming year. In a sane country, this policy would be celebrated and embraced by other states considering schoolkids already must have vaccines for measles, mumps, and smallpox. However, in this country, our schools have become ground zero for the right’s culture war so GOP politicians can get elected and gain some attention from Fox News, whose hosts are fully vaccinated while our children are collateral damage, sacrificial pawns for the right.
Meanwhile, the majority of parents like me are eagerly waiting for the FDA to approve Pfizer’s new vaccine for children under the age of 12. Since my 5-year-old daughter is immuno-suppressed, we’ve had to do virtual school for both of our young children to keep our family safe. This means depriving them of a normal routine and access to kids their own age, but also demands I rearrange my life to be tech support for the school day and take on the graveyard shift to get any work done. It’s a worthwhile trade to keep them safe, but whereas I’m privileged to work from home, parents in similar situations are losing their minds, their health, and economic opportunities, trying and failing to juggle all the responsibilities.
This Pfizer vaccine for kids, and school vaccine mandates, would literally and figuratively be a life-saver for millions of American families. Democratic governors must immediately issue a similar order across this nation to flatten the virus and save our kids. If anti-vax parents don’t like it, they can homeschool their kids, or call Betsy DeVos for tips on educating their child.
Anti-vaxxers will no doubt send me lovely racist emails and call me an alarmist by pointing to encouraging news that new coronavirus infections fell in the U.S. by 25 percent over the past two weeks. I’ll respond by saying we’re still not out of the woods. The COVID-19 death toll just surpassed 700,000. Many of the deaths are concentrated in Southern red states led by Republican elected officials like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is doubling-down on his creative, out-of-the-box path to the White House by killing as many of his future voters as possible and exposing kids to the virus. Unsurprisingly, the new CDC data revealed that states with lower vaccination rates have higher rates of COVID deaths and hospitalizations. It’s almost as if ignoring life-saving medication and gleefully exposing yourself to the plague might have harmful side effects.
During the start of this pandemic, Republicans were seemingly fine sacrificing our grandma and grandpa to the remorseless, insatiable death maw of COVID-19 to achieve their elusive “herd immunity.” However thanks to the summer’s Delta variant, every group under the age of 55 recorded its highest death toll in August. You would think those sobering statistics might force some aggressive anti-vaxxers to be humbled, change their course and take a miraculous vaccine. Nope. Ben Garrison, the pre-eminent cartoonist of the Trump cult, has announced that he will treat his recent COVID-19 diagnosis with ivermectin and beet juice. He might stain his shirt and teeth, but at least he’ll remove some oxidants from his body while coronavirus feasts on everything else.
If anything, the right-wing and anti-vax movements, existing within the same circle of a Venn diagram, have become more violent and unhinged over the past year. In February, nearly 40 percent of Republicans polled supported the use of political violence. A group representing the national school board associations earlier this week asked President Biden to protect school board members and educators from violent threats, hate crimes, and bullying by the anti-vax mob that is demanding zero mask and vaccination mandates at schools. These freaks are trying to intimidate our teachers and health care workers, who are simply trying to protect their lives. If this zombie death cult were populated mostly by brown and Black Muslims, this country would refer to them as terrorists and incessantly unleash violence upon their bodies. Instead, we coddle their madness.
But people are getting fed up with negotiating with pro-COVID “thugs.” United Airlines announced last week its initially controversial vaccine mandate was an immense success, with 99.5 percent of its employees vaccinated or exempt by their deadline. Only 320 employees lost their jobs by choosing not to get a life-saving vaccine. Ta-Ta, au revoir, bon voyage, and buh-bye. They now have the freedom to find another job, though they won’t find any luck with American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, or JetBlue. Those three airlines are following suit and requiring their employees to be vaccinated, explaining that they provide services for the government and as such are government contractors who fall under President Biden’s recent requirement that demands their vaccination.
However, airlines still need to go a step further before the holiday season. They must follow Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Beyer’s proposal requiring passengers to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative test before domestic flights. Passengers who choose to be unvaccinated should have the freedom to travel on horseback as the rest of us fly. Although, unfortunately for them, they’ve caused a shortage of horse medicine.
Tyson Foods announced that their U.S. employees need to be vaccinated by November, and so far 80 percent of their workers have received at least one dose of the vaccine. The NBA announced players who refuse to get vaccinated will lose pay for each game they are forced to miss. If you have the courage of your reckless, selfish, and dangerous convictions, then you should prove it by forfeiting your pay. Also, the Dallas Mavericks are now demanding fans show proof of COVID vaccinations or a negative test when they attend home games.
Meanwhile the rest of us will continue flying the friendly skies, working at our jobs, attending sporting events, and sending our kids to school, at peace with the fact we know we’re doing our part to flatten both the virus and the pro-death cult and save our country.