I am totally fed up. My wife needs surgery and we are being told that it will be three or four months before she can get it because our local hospital system is overwhelmed with unvaccinated victims of COVID-19.

It seems to me that a vaccine refuser is like a person who drives, on purpose, the wrong way down a one-way street expecting any costs suffered by the victims of any resulting crashes, as well as any fines and tickets the driver may receive, will all be paid by the victims.

The people that are refusing to get vaccinated have overwhelmed our hospitals, putting our medical system into an ongoing crisis mode. They are preventing the nation from getting control of COVID infections. They are prolonging the impact of the disease on the economy, to say nothing of its effect on the lives of ordinary people. In a way, they are COVID’s biggest boosters.

Why? Because they refuse to get a simple one-second shot of a needle in the arm. The vaccine has proven to be almost totally effective in preventing serious COVID complications and death in the more than 60% of adult Americans that have received at least one shot. What do these vaccine refusers use to justify their position. Is it a valid medical reason? No. Is it a fact-based fear of complications? No.

Most of their opposition is based on a relatively recent political position — that it restricts their own personal freedom and represents too much “government control.” How do these people reconcile their position on this when it is the government that has seen that over 90% of children in this country have already received vaccines for polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox and other highly infectious diseases. Is it too much “government control” to have laws against driving without a license, against taking items from stores and others without paying for them, against assaulting or killing other people. These types of laws were created to promote the general welfare and to give us an open, successful society.

How can we fix this problem? It is obvious that our spineless politicians, whose only responsibility seems to be to current party doctrine, will be unable to stop pandering to the vocal minority. The idea that they would create a law that would protect us all is beyond imagining.

It would seem that now is the time for serious action. Vaccine refusers should bear the consequences of their actions, not the rest of society. Three possible solutions are:

1. Many businesses are using various means to encourage their employees to get vaccinated or face serious employment prospects.

2. When someone who refuses a COVID shot gets the disease they should bear some or all of the cost of their medical care. As a matter of fact, this is already starting to take place. Several insurance companies that initially agreed to completely cover all COVID expenses are now imposing copays and coverage limits on those who refuse the vaccine.

3. Hospitals should return to normal care and occupancy levels for patients with the usual illnesses that require hospital care. Only then would people that refuse to take COVID shots be accepted as patients. In other words, they would move from being the first admitted to being the last.

The sooner we all do whatever is necessary to beat this disease, the sooner we can return to normal.

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Peter Schneider lives in Bend.

(15) comments

DeLora

Thank you! My husband has been waiting since April for a surgery that he can't get because there are no beds available. For those of you that don't need surgery, you have no clue. Try living in pain 24/7 and being told yes you need surgery but sorry I can't do it right now. But if you haven't been vaccinated and get the virus and need hospitalized, you get right in and the rest of us can just wait because you are selfish and are afraid to get a shot!

Thomas Who

Another supposed excuse for why other people should be forced to be vaccinated for YOUR benefit. No thank you.

BuckeyeDuck

Bwahahahaha. It's for everyone's benefit, but we see you just care about you and yourself. Just like your hero the twice impeached trump.

Transitory Inflation

Anti-social personality disorders are ridiculously under-diagnosed in our society. I saw 3.5% cited somewhere, HAS to be more like 15-25% post social media.

BuckeyeDuck

15-25%seems a bit low based on some of the folks screayat school boards these days.

Thomas Who

Yes. Anyone who makes decisions based on what they think is right for themselves, and who has questions about the origins of this virus and the development of its vaccine must have serious anti-social personality disorders. It’s very common among people who think for themselves and have alternative viewpoints.

BuckeyeDuck

Got it, per your comment below you condone harming others.

guest1564

We need to start denying care to unvaccinated people. They were negligent so they need to pay the price.

Skittish

The author is understandably frustrated. But of course there is more to the story from my perspective.

First, many antivaxxers mistrust the healthcare system, science and politicians telling them what to do. They have some justification for not trusting each of these entities, for example pharma greed and the politicization of science. Second, they have some valid points about the mRNA vaccines, but haven’t fully evaluated the total risk benefits. I would criticize them for making perfection an enemy of the good. Third, the healthcare system “efficiency” is a long term issue and Oregon has very few beds relative to our population. We are chronically and by design short of beds, and thus it doesn’t take much to overburden the system. Fourth, they don’t feel like they are being listened to, but neither does the pro-vaccine side. Both sides feel justified contempt for the other and this is unfortunate, but we can’t lead adults to education and expect them to drink and learn. “Do your research” or “Follow the science,” are farcical platitudes for not really being educated and blaming it on the other side.

As in politics, the economy in general, housing, and the justice system, we haven’t made definitive choices about among tradeoffs about what we value in health care in regards to cost, access, quality, but also balancing responsibility with autonomy. Such is life.

BuckeyeDuck

As to your first sentence. Of courrrse you have an opinion from your perspective.

As to the the rest. Bull! More deflection by you as usual. You just don't care.

Skittish

1. you know what I think and feel better than I do.

2. I can have my own opinions with your permission.

3. I only wish I could be a confident leader like you.

4. Do you know the definition of deflection?

BuckeyeDuck

You betcha on 1-3. #4, yes, you're doing it again here.

Transitory Inflation

YES. Glad to see that hospitals are now ruining the financial lives of those that chose to not vax and get sick. Now we want our medical staff to have somewhat realistic professional lives and the broader community's necessary medical services back, STAT.

104962

So well stated and I couldn't agree more!

JohnnyTurtle

Thank you! You nailed it.

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