Image: Jordan Vonderhaar for The Texas Tribune

If You’re An Anti-Vaxxer, We’re Done

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I’m curious if you know an anti-vaccine person who says stuff like ‘read this book’ or ‘it’s unproven,’ or whatnot, and is this enough for an immediate end-of-relationship for you? What if they then later get the vaccine, are their misbeliefs absolved?

Years ago, you could have a dinner conversation with someone who thought their political party had the correct answer about taxes, school vouchers, or privatization, or whatnot and still go on with them because those are complex issues people and governments disagree about. (It was likely their political party, being different from yours, didn’t attempt a coup and a cover-up, for example.) It was manageable to disagree because our disagreements were set on a foundation of shared understanding. Today, however, is a different story. Politics now is a factional bloodsport trending towards a real-life hunger games moment.

I don’t think I could have a reasonable conversation with someone who thought the sun is filled with candy, which is the same level of insanity to me as an anti-vaxxer who worries their jab causes cancer or infertility or autism. As if those topics weren’t severe and tragic enough without becoming a platform for paranoid misinformation. We all need good, reliable information about our healthcare, and the conspiracy nuts are doing an excellent job mucking up the good info with the false info. It’s frustrating and completely unnecessary.

Where’s the line? Could you ever again trust someone who was anti-vax, then got the shot? I would wonder what other insane beliefs they have that I don’t know about. Might they think snow makes you gay, or puppies are aliens, or butterflies are venomous? See, once you get a peek into someone’s mind, it’s tough to look away and unsee the crazy.

Here’s my line. If your delusions quietly speak to you to ignore science and the solution to fighting this pandemic, that’s a step too far for me. If you’re anti-vax, be on your way without me forever. Because I can’t ever respect you again, knowing you had an active role in perpetuating the pandemic and leading to the infection and death of others when you had a choice.

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