Point of View Columns

An American Tragedy – Suicide by Stupidity

We are bearing witness to an American tragedy in real time. It is now clear that over 100 million Americans are dead set on committing Suicide by Stupidity – committing Homicide by Stupidity in the process. There is no genteel or balanced way of analyzing this current vaccine denial pandemic that has followed on the heels of the COVID-19 pandemic itself.

It has been noted that ignorance can be addressed by education and information. Stupid is terminal and indomitable – it literally refuses to admit defeat even as it crashes, burns and dies. And that is where we are here in a country where over half of the population, for one reason or another, refuses to get vaccinated even as hundreds, and perhaps thousands in the near future, die every day because they are not vaccinated.

There is no rhyme or reason. There are some situations where no sense makes sense, and sadly that is the case for more than too many people in these United States.

A moment regarding ignorance – we begin by recognizing that no one knows everything. Being ignorant as to how to fly a plane is only important if you are a pilot. Being ignorant as to how to perform brain surgery is only important if you are a brain surgeon.

But ignorance can be successfully addressed with education and learning. If you want to fly a plane you can learn to be a pilot. If you want to be a brain surgeon, you can learn to be a brain surgeon.

Stupid is something else, and much more pernicious and dangerous. If you do not know how to fly a plan and attempt to do so that is simply a stupid thing to do. Obviously if you do not know how to perform brain surgery, trying to do so is simply a stupid thing to do.

And that brings us to the COVID-19 pandemic and the available vaccines. During 2020 we watched our family, friends, neighbors and strangers slaughtered by the virus. All we could do is avoid almost everything – work, school, family, friends, bars, restaurants and stadia. Masks, hand sanitizers and PPE were the only lines of defense – lines that were frequently breached by the insatiable virus.

And then as 2021 the vaccines became available – tested and approved for use by the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration. And then the death toll and rates of infection fell dramatically as Americans and Brits and Australians lined up for “the jab”. It seemed as if the only challenge was to make sure that there at least 300 million vaccines available for the over 300 million Americans in the United States.

And then…Stupid stepped in. Stupid already had a few people drinking bleach. Stupid already had too many people walking around without masks and gathering in bars and beaches – not bothering to get vaccinated engaging in these activities. Stupid even having some people engage in fistfights when requested to wear masks in sealed steel tubes called airplanes.

But Stupid was only getting warmed up. Stupid spread faster than the virus as people claimed, falsely, that the vaccine was prepared too quickly (due to advanced technology), that the vaccine was just one more ploy to exploit Black people like the Tuskegee Experiment (the Tuskegee incident involved the withholding of treatment to Black experimental subjects), that the vaccine contained microchips that would control human behavior for all time (vaccines contain no microchips, at all) and a range of even more bizarre excuses/reasons not to get vaccinated.

This COVID vaccine resistance has now morphed into a rejection of all vaccines which, if taken to its illogical conclusion, will mean that we will see waves of smallpox, measles, whooping cough and polio sweeping across this country within the next year or two. It should be pointed out that there have been only minimal outbreaks of these diseases in this country over the last half century thanks to vaccines.

It is certainly unkind to employ the term Stupid. But when people are presented with irrefutable evidence from every imaginable source – government, scientists, doctors, faith leaders, community leaders, celebrities and athletes – and still refuse to save their own lives and the lives of people that they will never know, the only useful word is Stupid.

Ignorance can be addressed with education.

Stupid can be dangerous to your health and the health of everyone else.