Give me the vaccine! And who started this fire??
About a year ago, I remember a coworker casually reading an article about a possible virus outbreak in China affecting something in the neighborhood of 300 people.
"Ruh roh" I thought. This probably meant the numbers were significantly higher - add a zero or two.
Then came the first two cases in Washington State - one of whom had no contact with the other (the person who had traveled).
If we couldn't figure out how to connect these two strangers, to me it screamed that the virus was actively spreading within the community. I don't know if people didn't recognize this, or simply didn't care.
Another "Ruh roh" moment in my head.
And THAT was just one of the ingredients of that dumpster fire that we all love to hate: the year 2020.
"Oh, but we can do better" said 2020. "Let's add a few things!"
"We'll add some conspiracies about Bill Gates and some kind of shenanigans with a vaccine, maybe a nice prestigious YouTube documentary, sprinkle in some 5g stuff, and oh - some politics would be delightful!"
The dumpster fire was alive, strong, and well-fed. There were now many people of many beliefs throwing things into the fire, while accusing the other nearby people feeding the fire who shared different beliefs of throwing things into it. The hypocrites fought. They gave the virus humanistic attributes, and unknowingly likened it unto themselves.
And the virus cared not, for it did not know what care or evil were. So it is written, a virus can only virus and naught but else ye men of the world. It carried on its path doing the only thing it was capable of doing, while everybody continued to fight amongst each other.
The year passed. We learned a lot about the virus. We learned about things that did work, and we also sadly learned about things that didn't work. I was lucky enough to take care of a COVID patient on the ventilator who became one of a minority who actually survived being on the ventilator. I saw others less fortunate - one was younger than me and will spend the rest of his life in a vegetative state. I saw a strong, healthy nurse wind up on the ventilator. And I lost a coworker.
I prefer liking people to disliking them. It has been a frustrating year on that front. People really don't treat each other well. I wish there was a vaccine for that, but that's a real can of worms right there.
But a vaccine was developed for COVID. Three so far, in fact - and with more on the way. If it's successful, I hope it serves as a stepping stone in a better direction for everybody. Of course the vaccine comes with its own concerns - and many of them understandable.
Big Pharma doesn't seem to have the strongest reputation for honesty or integrity; stories float around about study findings being incorrect or altered in the name of getting a drug on the market and the cash flowing. Add social media into that mix and suddenly you have a weird lady telling you that Bill Gates killed a half million little girls in India with his evil vaccination scheme. "Seriously, look it up," she told me.
So I did.
Another big concern is the that the vaccines are being rushed. There's not going to be as much testing before it's distributed to the masses, implying that these first rounds of vaccinations are going to be part of the study in itself. Complications and side effects, if any, are really going to come to light here; am I going to grow an extra limb?
Well, if video games have taught me anything - extra limbs can really make a dude formidable.
One artist's rendition of what I might look like with extra arms
And if any of you played Sega's Toejam & Earl back in the 90s, an extra leg certainly has its value as well.
Jokes aside, after seeing just how bad it can get, I'd rather not risk it. I'd rather get the vaccine at this point. And I hope my loved ones will get it, too, so I can see them again soon. I miss them. And I miss a lot of the fun stuff I haven't gotten to do this last year. Am I telling you to get the vaccine? Not at all. So long as the people that want the vaccine have it, and the people who don't want the vaccine don't have it, I'll be a happy camper.
By the way
The dumpster fire wasn't 2020.
IT WAS ALWAYS BURNING SINCE THE WORLD'S BEEN TURNING.
Does anybody else feel like Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire is overdue for some additional verses after the past couple decades?