Should you get the COVID vaccine? I understand the concerns of those who are reluctant. I was reluctant at first, not because I knew anything about the vaccine but because I didn’t.
I’ve always been vaccine hesitant. Until last year, I never even got a flu vaccine shot. I just figured that intentionally injecting any part of a virus into my arm was something I should avoid if possible (I didn’t realize mRNA vaccines do not use any part of the virus). Besides I was young enough not to worry about the flu killing me. Also, with the COVID vaccine, I wanted to wait and see about the possible side effects.
In the end, I decided the risk from COVID-19 was far greater than the risk of side effects from the vaccine. I read the conspiracy theories and the now debunked myths about the vaccine, but in the end I made the rather unremarkable decision to trust the experts.
I don’t ask politicians for medical advice, and I don’t ask doctors for advice about my politics. If I went to the doctor because I had blood in my urine, and the doctor gave me his diagnoses, I wouldn’t say, “No offense, Doc, but I would like to get a second opinion from a politician.” The CDC, Dr. Fauci, and my doctor, all agreed about the need to get vaccinated, and just like if I got opinions from three different doctors all giving me the same diagnoses I would trust them, I decided to trust the experts on the vaccine.
It had been so long since I had seen a really good movie, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps I had reached that age where I would stop liking movies. You ever wonder why your parents don’t go to the movies anymore? I’ve never heard a good explanation, but there must be a reason, right?
Well, the good news is that if there is such an age, apparently I have not reached it yet. After a long drought, I can honestly say that the last five movies I’ve watched were excellent, and all but one had a good message, and by “good” I mean one that was either consistent with Truth, promoted virtue, or asked the right questions.
I like thoughtful movies. I long ago lost any desire for two-hour chase scenes and mind-numbing shoot-em-ups. I like movies with a message, supported by symbols and images to assist in conveying the message. I even enjoy movies with the wrong message. The Coen brothers and Woody Allen are my favorites, and I almost never agree with their message. But sometimes the message is so misguided it pollutes the whole movie. Such is the case with Nomadland.
Frances McDormand is Fern (presumably because a fern will grow almost anywhere), a widow, who, after her husband dies and the recession destroys the town where she lived, puts everything in a storage facility and sets off into the American West in a van, where she will live, stopping for a season at an RV park or national park.
For the first half of the movie we feel sorry for Fern, even though some of the sympathy is lost when she turns down the opportunity for help from the Baptists homeless ministry, subtly signaling she doesn’t really need help.
In one scene, she gathers around at an RV park site with other nomads while a more experienced woman teaches all present the finer points of defecating into a bucket because when you live in a van where else are you going to scat, in the glove box? It was at this point The Wife pulled the rip chord and told me she had had enough. I hung in there though because I knew I hadn’t got the message yet; this was not just a film about the plight of the homeless. There was something else going on here.
I ask this question seriously and not rhetorically.
Maybe it’s the pandemic. Actually, I am sure it’s the pandemic. But the pandemic is merely the context not the cause. I’m talking about what I’m hearing my Christian friends say, what they text me, and what they post on Facebook, specifically about wearing masks.
You see, I live in Texas, and our governor, one birthed from my noble profession, a former lawyer and judge, one who should know better, has lifted the mask-wearing mandate in Texas. Some of my Christian friends are thrilled because they think masks don’t mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and actually do more harm than good (“breathing too much of your own CO2, bro”). They’ve obtained these opinions from politicians, not from health care professionals, and that, to me folks, is C . . . R . . . A . . . Z . . . Y.
I mean who among us goes to the doctor because they notice blood in their urine, and when the doctor gives his diagnoses says, “Doc, no offense, but I think I will get a second opinion from my politician”?