First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
So you wake up in the morning.
The bed is so perfect but you jump into your gym clothes to run a few miles on your treadmill while watching the morning news. The great hot shower follows. Feels good.
Quick coffee from your Italian machine accompanies the toast excellently, with almond butter from an exotic country halfway around the world. You know what’s good and healthy, and spare no expense – it is your health we’re talking about.
Late for work, you jump into your SUV and speed off into the morning traffic. No worries though, your car has full connectivity so you can easily reschedule your meetings. You’re not worried about your safety – your SUV features fully autonomous mode – you say loudly “Take me to my office” and it is taken care of; your car’s most precious cargo, the very divine, perfect, genius, YOU, will be delivered with no fuss and no complaints.
At work, you’re at the cutting edge of everything, of course. You deal with computers, money, commodities and products in far-flung places. It’s all there, at your fingertips, because your company has installed the fastest connection so you can effortlessly project your brilliance.
By midday, a slight headache. No worries. You open a bottle of French water and glug an aspirin. Soon, all’s gone.
Later, you attend a dinner with friends who, rather annoyingly, want to talk about this latest virus that is gathering momentum in China. They predict it will soon be everywhere, and that the only way to stop the pandemic is for a vaccine to be introduced as soon as possible.
There, you take a clear stand. No, I will never allow a vaccine to ruin my health. Too much risk.
But, your friends say, we must trust our science and our scientists, who are most alarmed and have already sequenced the virus’s gene and are working 24 hours a day on what could be a years-long project.
Scientists!, you exclaim, disdainfully. They change their minds all the time! We still don’t know if eating more than four eggs a week is good or dangerous for us. And don’t get me even started with the low-fat or low-sugar flip-flops.
You have also read in so many magazines (because you read a lot) and heard from so many other friends about children becoming autistic after being vaccinated. My body belongs to me and only I will make that decision – and it will be a definite no.
Okay, I now need to jump into your conversation – as I frankly can’t stand listening to you anymore.
You don’t believe the science and the scientists, you say?
So, when you woke up this morning, how do you think your perfect bed was made? Your treadmill and your hot shower? How did that cup of coffee materialise in your hand? All the way from Colombia, in a machine designed in Italy, and powered by alternate current electricity (thank you, Nikola Tesla), that was produced in a faraway power station that still managed to deliver the electricity to you despite friction loss. How did your SUV get designed, produced and sold at the price that you can afford? The very fundamental process that powers that car – all of it was done by the… scientists!
The concept of money itself, that you’re so proud of making, the markets, the banks, the entire economies? Where does the internet come from?
People of the world are not dying anymore in droves because they have a flu, or just a damn little appendicitis. That is ALL because of the intervention of medical science. Briton Hadden, the genius original editor of Time and Life magazines died from a bacterial infection after he picked up a stray cat in New York in the late 1920s. Two decades later, he would not even have had to worry about it. So, let me ask you just a simple question: How is it possible that you trust science and scientists literally every minute of your day for your livelihood and everything else, but that trust stops when it comes to the vaccines? Even as there is literally a mountain of data that proves how crucial vaccines are for planetary health? Do you really think you having a hunch is worth it?
It is time for you to wake up. And smell the reality, for the sake of all of us.
And let me dispel another of your illusions: your body may belong to you, but right now your health belongs to humanity. The only thing you will achieve by remaining vaccine-free during this pandemic is to hand your beloved body to the virus – and possibly become a host in which it will mutate away from our vaccines. Just think about it. Stop being an idiot. When the time comes, get vaccinated. DM168
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for free to Pick n Pay Smart Shoppers at these Pick n Pay stores.