Epoch of Stupidity

The United States has enough vaccines to vaccinate its entire population and protect it from serious illness as a result of the virus that has flooded the world. It is one of the few countries with that advantage. These days, however, American infection rates have grown to just over 50,000 cases a day on average, four times more than what we saw a month ago.

Hospitalizations and deaths are also on the rise, although at lower rates than we have seen at other times during the pandemic. The reason: the widespread anti-vaccination movement. In other words, stupidity.

In a country with enough vaccines for everyone, slightly over one-third of adults have not received a single dose. New variants of the virus are hitting some states where the anti-vaccine movement is most powerful.

And every day, on the most watched TV news program, host Tucker Carlson takes the opportunity to question the vaccine or offer absurd reasons to create fear. In some recent studies, the percentage of the population that speaks out against vaccines and will not get vaccinated unless legally required is about one-fifth of all American adults. Anthony Fauci, leading physician of the agency in charge of battling infectious diseases, said he was frustrated and that the United States is going the wrong way.

The stupidity of anti-vaccination proponents has consequences for everyone. The new waves of infection in certain states could bring new closures of activity, as we experienced last year, once again affecting the economy. Not only that, but the new rash of infections among the unvaccinated will facilitate the development of further new variant strains that could turn out to be, like the now dominant Delta, even more ferocious.

For Mexico, the growth of cases in the U.S., beyond our vaccination efforts in the border states, could further delay the opening of the border, with desperate citizens on both sides. It has already killed economic activity in those cities.

While many countries are desperate due to lack of access to vaccines, in the most powerful country in the world people do not want to be vaccinated.

This is a time of stupidity.

About this publication

About Patricia Simoni 82 Articles
I first edited and translated for Watching America from 2009 through 2011, recently returning and rediscovering the pleasure of working with dedicated translators and editors. Latin America is of special interest to me. In the mid-60’s, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile, and later lived for three years in Mexico, in the states of Oaxaca and Michoacán and in Mexico City. During those years, my work included interviewing in anthropology research, teaching at a bilingual school in the federal district, and conducting workshops in home nursing care for disadvantaged inner city women. I earned a BS degree from Wagner College, masters and doctoral degrees from WVU, and was a faculty member of the WVU School of Nursing for 27 years. In that position, I coordinated a two-year federal grant (FIPSE) at WVU for an exchange of nursing students with the University of Guanajuato, Mexico. Presently a retiree, I live in Morgantown, West Virginia, where I enjoy traditional Appalachian fiddling with friends. Working toward the mission of WA, to help those in the U.S. see ourselves as others see us, gives me a sense of purpose.

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