I wasn’t gonna write this at all. The noise on the subject was deafening, but since it’s died down somewhat I’m throwing it out there. There’s still a lot of vitriol against people who choose not to take the medicine (though to be fair, some of them deserve the flak). In light of that, here’s my case. I’m not shouting or waving a placard in anyone’s face. I’m laying it out as succinctly and respectfully as I can. Have at me if you must.
I caught it, and was fortunate in that it manifested no worse than a mild flu, and within five days the symptoms had fully gone. I spent a further month in self-isolation before I was given the all-clear.
Interestingly, the chief of the NIPH (Norwegian Institute of Public Health) has said that henceforth in Norway COVID will be classified as a variety of flu, a move which I applaud. It seems to me the sanest policy decision since this whole thing started.
I had it back in December, which means (theoretically) that I’m still protected by my own naturally acquired antibodies and, judging by the experiences of those I know (family who’ve had a double shot and have still caught it), no more or less susceptible than anyone else. But what of the variations, you dummy? I had it, and I lived. I’m confident I’ll live next time (and I’ve no doubt there’ll be a next time). And if I get it again, I’ll behave responsibly just like I did the first time around. I’m aware that not everyone who catches it is as fortunate as I was.
Where’s it gonna end? Nobody knows, it seems, and they keep rolling out the medicine. Some countries are on their fourth dose at this stage, vaccinated up the yin-yang and the active cases showing no signs of slowing. Monthly shots? Weekly? Pfizer’s working on a daily pill, if you can believe that. Nope. For me, the pharmaceutical companies have become mercenary and are out to milk this for all its worth. If they were serious about ending it they would force the companies to offer their jabs at cost and make testing free. Instead, I have to pay a hundred euros each time I want a full antigen test, and this in year when (forced out of full-time employment) I’m struggling to pay the bills and even feed myself. A hundred euros is groceries for a single person (living in Europe and on a very tight budget) for two weeks, to put it in perspective.
I’ll take a test if I feel ill in order to protect those closest to me, but I am otherwise withdrawing my participation from the COVID shark economy to the full extent of my ability. I will not be bled dry in order to line the pockets of the Pfizer board of directors.
A selfish reason? Perhaps, but one I feel strongly about nonetheless. Coercion. It was admitted a couple of weeks ago by the national health chief of Israel (caught off-mic) that COVID passports were about coercion, plain and simple, and that there was no epidemiological reason for them at all. Who likes to have their arm twisted? So far, in my country of residence (Italy), I can no longer work, use public transport, drink in a café or eat in a restaurant, attend a school or college (if I had any reason to do so), go to a gallery or museum or indoor gathering, without a ‘green pass’. And all this despite the fact that I’m healthy and virus-free. I’m already a second-class citizen. Many of us are living under an effective system of segregation because of our refusal to subject ourselves to the needle. In my opinion, there are flagrant ethical and moral violations at play here, and these controls are nothing but a brute, kneejerk response the situation. I have serious concerns with how easily these measures were thrust upon ‘democratic’ societies, and with what violence they continue to be applied.
This is in fact my first reason for not getting the vaccine, but it’s here at number four because I didn’t want it to overshadow the others and render them moot. Autoimmunity. My body turned against me in 2016 and I was pretty seriously ill for a year or two, but by changing my lifestyle, habits and diet, I’ve been drug-free and stable for three years. But I’m still very careful about what I put into my body. Since I can no longer attend the gym, I’ve dropped six kilos in the last year and am not as strong as I was. Right now, I feel like I’m on a knife edge health-wise. Am I about to inject myself with a new vaccine for something which I’ve had and have recovered from with zero hardship? Absolutely not. Regardless of what you believe, it’s a fact that people (and in particular those with underlying conditions) have had complications and even died from the vaccine, so I’m not taking the chance.
For me, COVID is the known known. Vaccines are the unknown unknown. My choice is as simple as it gets.
‘Why I’m not getting the vaccine’, by Ultan Banan. Please note: flash fiction, nonfiction and all other content is the sole work of Black Tarn. Ask before republishing.