Everyday we read about people who have died tragically. It seems to be a way of life for anyone who labels themselves “human.” Humans are responsible for all kinds of violence inflicted upon other humans (non-humans as well, but that’s a topic for another time).
Violence resulting in death. Everyday! It runs the gauntlet of human depravity. All the way from genocide in Africa to home invasion in Ohio. From cartel killings in Mexico to honor killings in India. Too many ways to count.
And now we see even another way. It’s not wanton killing as such, but death results, nonetheless. Are humans responsible? Oh, yeah. No doubt about it. We may not have knowingly and willing begun the process, but we sure as hell are perpetuating it.
What am I talking about? I know that thought is jumping around in your overtaxed brain. And once you find out what’s on my mind, you’re not going to care anyway. That’s life, and I accept it. But, can you live with it?
In 1955 a vaccine developed by Jonas Salk for the eradication of polio was released to the public. This vaccine had been rushed through the testing process and after a quick trial period a nationwide inoculation program began. In those days, oversight of any type of process of drug testing and manufacturing was not what it is today. A defective vaccine had been unknowingly manufactured and 200,000 people were injected.
The results were not good. Worldwide, seventy thousand children—that’s a seven followed by four zeroes—were infected with polio. Let’s see that in numbers—70,000. Of that number, one hundred sixty four—that’s a 1 followed by a 6 followed by a 4—were crippled for life. Ten—10—died. If you ask me, that’s too many, way too many, precisely ten too many.
You see, in the haste to rush a vaccine to the public, the governments of the world had not provided adequate supervision over the drug manufacturers that had been tasked with producing the vaccine, and one of them produced a tainted supply of vaccine. Not only was there not an oversight program of some sort with the drug companies, but the testing process had been rushed in order to get a vaccine to the public to stop this terrible virus.
And, we want to rush to get a vaccine for Covid-19 on the market?
We’ve all read how people who recover from Covid-19 are looking at a lifetime of problems. It’s being reported that there is long-term damage to the lungs, as well as chronic fatigue. I’ve even read that psychological disturbances have been detected in many of the survivors. Now, some scientists are saying that there is evidence that the virus might cause permanent impairment to the brain, with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Oh, such a lovely virus we’ve been saddled with.
I can fully understand why there’s a rush to get a vaccine on the market. The sooner we can all get vaccinated, the quicker life can get back to the way it was. Back to normal. Back to what we’ve all grown so comfortable with.
Folks, I have news for you. We cannot go back. We must forge ahead—ahead towards a new normal. Ahead to a future that becomes our normal. Our lives have changed because of this virus and we must accept that change, whether we come up with a vaccine this year, next year, or ten years from now. Or never.
But there is a way through this mess. So that we don’t have to face the possibility of long-term health problems let’s all get inoculated with the first vaccine to hit the market. We can do this by the end of the year. That’s what our illustrious leaders are telling us. We can rush the testing process, lessen the oversights, and get a miracle drug in the hands of the public before the new year slaps us in the face.
But wait, you scream. Suppose that vaccine is tainted, or it results in unforeseen problems within the human body, something that a longer testing period would have brought to light. Shouldn’t we slow down a bit and make sure that the efficacy of the vaccine is all we hoped for?
Nah, just shoot em up and let the bodies fall where they may. That’s the way to get back to normal. Why waste our time trying to adapt to a new paradigm in the world? Let’s just kill a few and get this over with.
Good night, Mrs. Jackson, wherever you are.