I’ve been watching Loki on Disney+ lately. The first season is all about time travel into parallel universes. It’s nerdy stuff. So I’m going to get my nerd on with this post, and we’re going to have some fun with a little thought experiment:
As it stands today, we seem to be “done” with Covid-19 in our collective consciousness. The problem with that is epidemiology. About half of Americans, for whatever reason or rationalization, have decided not to “Get the Damn Shot,” and they’re stubborn about it. The more the government pushes the hold-outs, the more they push back. You aren’t changing many minds this late in the game. As a result, the number of shots going into arms in America has flat-lined.
Because of this stubbornness (call it stupidity if you want), after a predicted summer reprieve, we’re now going into the Fall with doubling Covid rates:
|AVG. CASES ON JUL. 14||14-DAY CHANGE||Adults Fully Vaccinated|
Doubling rates indicate you’ve got a growing problem, but Republicans in power don’t seem to mind. In fact, they’ve decided that the appropriate political play is to thumb their noses at the virus this time around.
All of this depresses me to no end. If there was ever a time for us to come together as a nation, a pandemic was it, but we can’t do that right now. The other side might get the credit.
I discussed my thoughts on vaccine hesitancy a few weeks ago on Nat Robertson’s podcast:
I talked about how sad it was that many people are refusing to get vaccinated for political reasons, especially since Trump had the “foresight” to invest heavily in the vaccination ramp-up. Robertson joked that a Democrat shouldn’t say something like that in a recorded interview and assured me that it was just the Republican “fringe” that was against vaccines. I stand by what I said, but it’s not just the fringe. Vaccination rates in Red states have lagged Blue states since the beginning of the roll-out. It’s all politics. Always. This isn’t any different.
So with all that being said, here’s a strange alternative universe to consider:
If Donald Trump had won the election, I imagine he would have encouraged everyone to get vaccinated. He would have taken credit for the vaccine because he takes credit for everything, and in this case, you’d have to give credit where it’s due.
At least half of his supporters would have proudly received the “Donald J. Trump” Covid vaccine. The more he bragged about it, the more of his supporters would have gone in for the shots.
We’d have vaccination rates of 70-80%. Covid cases would not be doubling. The pandemic would have been effectively eliminated in America. But we’d still have Trump.
Would you take the trade? I might could endure four more years of that man if my kids had a normal school year without masks, not to mention all the lives that would have been saved.
Back in our current universe, we get this garbage from Trump’s heir apparent:
If DeSantis was any kind of leader, he’d be calling it the “Donald Trump” vaccine and getting shots in the arms of Floridians. The entire tourism industry in his state depends upon beating the virus. Instead, he’s raising money selling trash-talking coozies. Absurdly, the coozie costs more than a vaccine shot.
I’m not trying to pick on DeSantis here. He’s not really the point. The same goes for every other Republican leader in the country. Your guy got this whole vaccine project started! Billions were spent! We did it in record time! Get the shot, encourage others to do the same, and take a well-deserved bow.
As much as we’d love for Covid to “just go away,” the laws of this universe demand a little work from a lot of stubborn people before we’re rid of it. The problem is they have no real leadership right now.
Trump-Lite doesn’t taste the same.