Vaccines Are Vital

I was pleased to see the perspective offered by John Zerzan about vaccines (Viewpoint, 2/10). My first response is an “Amen, brother!”

It truly is about the ability for critical thinking, and it’s also about lived experience. Those of us in the generation that now gets flippantly dismissed with “OK, Boomer” — we lived through the polio years. We got vaccinated against smallpox. Thank you, World Health Organization.

A close family member contracted a “mild” case of COVID early on, in spring of 2020. But they now must grapple with a possible life-long case of long COVID; their symptoms have proved alarming. As a physician with 40 years’ practice under my belt, I have seen my share of post-polio cases: a syndrome that has been buried from public attention, much like so many autoimmune disorders, because its effects are chronic and non-communicable.

The younger set of idealists are late to the party when it comes to seeing the big picture. A sense of historical context is missing, and sure, I have done my share of warnings against the greedy industrial monster known as Big Pharma. I am not fond of the over-marketing of largely unnecessary vaccines. But a pandemic is a whole different deal, and the failure to understand that phenomenon amounts to sheer ignorance of human history.

I mourn a few formerly deep friendships that have been lost to the ubiquity of internet misinformation. Fear is what drives the process, and that happens to be the most viral contagion afflicting humanity.

Vip Short