Injections are nasty, but the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks, no matter how you slice it.


 

I don’t like injections. Never have, never will.

I see injecting any foreign substance under my skin as a risky business. Injections can quite obviously also lead to infection, and accidents can happen in which the wrong thing is injected. Even being in a medical facility is risky in my book; there may be infectious people there, people on mind-altering drugs have been known to get violent in medical facilities, and the whole place is usually crammed with sharp things, toxic things, and stuff you can bump into, fall over, or slip on.

Harm

As much as I hate injections, I am even less keen on pathogens. Up to 61,000 people in the US die each year from flu, thousands die from cancers caused by viruses, and thousands more die from a whole panoply of infectious agents. Even if you dodge dying from these pathogens, you can have really nasty, life-altering, and debilitating long-term effects. Infectious diseases can make you go blind, deaf, or become infertile. They can make walking up a flight of stairs as big a task as climbing Everest. So, let’s not figure that the natural state of things is all beer and skittles. The natural world is brimming with pestilence and disease, along with critters that are focused on using you as food or a place to reproduce. If you have ever lived in the developing world and sneezed out a worm, squeezed a maggot out of a pimple, or squatted out something that wriggled, you will know what I mean.

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Fairness

The most unfair thing about infection is that for every unfortunate person who winds up damaged or dead, there was a chain of infection that included someone who didn’t take basic precautions and passed the infection on to others. Fairness would be that everyone who can pull their weight does so and breaks the chain.

Purity

I’m all for bodily autonomy and physical purity. It just so happens that infection is a whole lot less pure than a sterile injection. I’ll take the small ding of a vaccine over having my body overrun by microscopic vermin using me as a breeding pen and scavenging my cells to build their offspring. Frankly, I’d rather have roaches in my hair than a virus in my bloodstream.

Loyalty

There is nothing quite so disloyal to one’s community, culture, and country as passing around an infectious disease, and the tiny risk of getting a vaccine is a small price to pay to protect others and break the chain of infection that will otherwise cause illness and death to others. Loyalty, to me, means protecting those around me, breaking the chain, and not being the pathway from germ to grave for someone else.

Authority

I’m a blowhard, sure, but not such an egomaniac that I am going to make out like I have better insights than the result of the scientific knowledge machine. Even though I know that the CDC, WHO, and ECDC are often wrong, the odds of me coming up with a better guess on any given public health topic are infinitesimal. The science bodies are always going to be the best bet in town, bar none.

In Our Best Interest

I am not so much pro-vaccine as anti-disease, and on every point, it is far better to be vaccinated than be a link in the chain of infection. Every public health body is telling me that getting the vaccine is in my own best interest and in those of everyone around me, and the way I can help my community, keep my body free of invaders, and avoid harm to myself and my community, is to get vaccinated when my turn comes.