Hesitant

Disclaimer: This post does not apply to any (currently ineligible) children under 12 or those with legitimate medical conditions who are unable to be vaccinated. They’re some of the people we’re trying to protect the most!

My wife and I have been warning about the dangers of the conservative misinformation ecosystem for a while now, and ever since the COVID vaccines became widely available I’ve been observing the ongoing antics of the anti-vax/anti-mask crowd with grim fascination.

Still, aside from posting snarky memes here and there, I hadn’t dedicated a post to my thoughts on the subject. Well, the past few weeks finally broke me. Specifically, seeing or hearing about:

  • A friend sharing a “vaccine hesitancy” video and information on trying to prevent mandates designed to stop the COVID spread (positioned as an issue of “personal choice”)

  • Stories like these

  • Deranged parents protesting classroom mask requirements (therefore going out of their way to place their own children in greater danger)

  • A local church setting up a separate viewing/listening area for those that are maskless (as if validating that as a reasonable option)

  • People taking horse de-worming medication rather than the vaccines

Enough.

I know that peer pressure can be strong, especially in conservative evangelical circles with extremely isolated media ecosystems that stir up strong “keep the government out” sentiments (except when it comes to reproductive rights, of course 💀).

Here’s the thing though: Beating COVID is going to take a united front. Contagious pandemics don’t care about your ill-informed “personal choice” arguments. People are getting sick and dying, and collective action is the only way out.

As a country, we used to be able to do this. Prior to the rise of always-on, instant misinformation sources, we banded together to defeat Polio and Smallpox. Measles, on the other hand, had a recent re-emergence due to, you guessed it, misinformation.

Even if you’re “hesistant” about getting the vaccine (there’s no reason to be) and slapping a mask on, putting your own reluctance or arguments about “personal freedom” above the lives of others is an inherently immoral act.

Just as free speech ends with your ability to yell “fire” in a crowded theater, the ability of the unvaccinated to participate in society (during a global pandemic!) should be dramatically restricted.

Shut up and wear the stupid mask. Get vaccinated to help do your part as a member of the human race. And please, please, please stop eating horse paste.

Lovely Lviv

Last week, I was fortunate enough to visit Lviv, Ukraine on a work trip, and even more fortunate that I was able to bring my wife with me.

What an amazing city!

I’ll let the pictures and videos do most of the talking, but here’s a short list of things I learned from our time there:

  • Like elsewhere in Europe, their “acceptable amount of ice in drinks” game is suspect
  • Same goes for the coldness of their fridges (prepare to embrace that lukewarm lifestyle)
  • You’re not getting a Diet Coke, friend
  • You’re also not getting any black coffee (Americano it is!)
  • Pedestrians are absolutely fearless
  • Smiling and nodding as you pass someone is not a thing
  • Borscht is everywhere, and I actually enjoyed it!
  • The Ukrainians I chatted with weren’t as interested in Chernobyl as tourists are (given that it is a dark time in their history)
  • You can tap to pay everywhere, and it’s glorious
  • It’s generally difficult to be a non-drinker on work trips, but it’s really hard in Ukraine (though I’m now an expert on the Lviv seltzer scene)

Media Diary (May 2021)

Some stuff I’ve experienced lately (and not necessarily only new releases):

Halston (TV): Fabulous

The Breathing Room (Podcast): A much-needed point of view

The Handmaid’s Tale (TV): In great form this season

Hacks (TV): Loving this so far

Slow Burn (Podcast): How we got Iraq so wrong

Mortal Kombat (Movie): I didn’t hate it

Pray, Obey, Kill (TV): A fascinating look at murder in a Swedish religious group

Shrill (TV): Looked forward to every episode

The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (TV): Creepy stuff

The Crime of The Century (TV): Absolute madness

Special (TV): Love this show’s POV

Deadwood (TV): Years ago I watched only the first season, remedying that with a full binge

Mythic Quest (TV): Charming as ever

Sasquatch (TV): Bigfoot always gets the blame