Dear anti-vaxxers

I got vaccinated and I’m still alive. I can breathe fine. I don’t have a microchip swimming through my veins, and I’m not magnetic. The Democrats aren’t tracking my every move, Joe Biden isn’t stalking me, and Nancy Pelosi isn’t reprogramming my DNA to force me to vote Democrat next election cycle. The world isn’t out to get you, but COVID-19 is.

Just this weekend, the United States surpassed over 700,000 deaths from the COVID-19 virus. The mortality rate doesn’t even begin to capture how much COVID-19 has impacted the way we live. While millions have died globally, millions more have been affected by the virus.

As one example, I had COVID-19 back in March after taking all the precautions I could, i.e. wearing a mask and being socially distanced from my peers. I still got infected. Now, seven months later, I only have a fraction of my taste back. My favorite foods I used to enjoy before being infected just don’t taste the same. But I lived. There are plenty of examples of people experiencing chronic fatigue, breathing difficulties, and hard times sleeping.

This side effect is part of a phenomenon called “long COVID,” which millions are experiencing. It varies from person to person, but one thing remains constant — COVID has altered our ability to enjoy what we used to. I’m one of the luckier ones since I can still breathe and walk. 

Valid concerns about taking a new vaccine don’t outweigh the potential side effects of COVID. When you pout about “personal freedom,” when you complain about being injected with a free vaccine made to protect you from dying, it’s honestly just pathetic. Personally, I am sick and tired of proponents of freedom caring more about their short term right to perambulate around Walmart maskless and vaccine-less, than another’s right to taste food, sleep at night, breathe, and live.

So, let’s talk about what a vaccine is. A vaccine of any kind will essentially train your immune system to recognize foreign pathogens with the intent to strengthen the body’s immune response. Here’s a video on vaccines by the medical director of the Stanford-Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Vaccine program if you want to learn more. It was made in 2009, so no, it wasn’t made by the liberal agenda to brainwash you. 

The COVID-19 vaccines are a type of mRNA vaccine. According to the CDC, here’s what that means:

  1. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are given in the upper arm muscle. Once the instructions (mRNA) are inside the muscle cells, the cells use them to make the protein piece. After the protein piece is made, the cell breaks down the instructions and gets rid of them.
  2. Next, the cell displays the protein piece on its surface. Our immune systems recognize that the protein doesn’t belong there and begin building an immune response and making antibodies, like what happens in natural infection against COVID-19.
  3. At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is that the vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.

The vaccine was developed under the Trump administration (after decades of development under multiple presidents) and by non-partisan medical professionals who have dedicated their entire life to science. For more information about its development, here’s a short video from the CDC.

Finally, doing “research” is not reading through articles on some random unaccredited website. It’s not reading Facebook testimonials from PatriotLover1776 or MAGAMary_USA. When you have done actual literature review, experimental work following the scientific method, and detailed analysis on your findings (which are then scrutinized by extensive peer review), then you can claim you did your research. Until then, let those who have dedicated their entire lives to science and its process do their job. 

If this pandemic has piqued your interest in biology, public health, or pharmacology, there are so many online courses for free that you can try! Here are free edX courses developed by MIT, Harvard, and Rice universities about cell biology. If you suddenly have developed an interest in pharmacology, here are free courses on Coursera about pharmaceuticals. Finally, here’s a Business Insider article with a list of different public health courses. It’s time to care about others. Get a grip, get educated, get vaccinated.

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