All of us would like to think we can return to some sort of a pre pandemic normal. I am not so sure we can – just yet.
I have been to at least one social event this summer where my suspicions of many attending not being vaccinated proved to be correct. So all of us were made part of the non-vaccinated bubble of connections and social interactions whether we wanted to or not. The choice was not to stay at the event and we exercised our choice and left.
For many, not getting vaccinated seems to be like donning the cloak of extreme patriotism. For them, it seems to be synonymous with having rode with Paul Revere, or having been there when the tea was dumped in Boston Harbor. I don’t get this, but the choice to not be vaccinated for many seems to be some exercise of patriotism and faith as well. Some churches have made their flocks proud for refusing to get vaccinated – the trust in the Lord thing and society be damned.
Well, I think there is something of equal value and it is the common good. When we choose to live in communities and leave the caves of hermits we are part of a community of fellow humans. We meet and provide for the well being of our communities and provide schools, roads, hospitals, libraries, fire departments, police forces and try to meet the needs of our communities. We do all this in the name of the common good.
Like so much that is dividing us today, the concept of the common good has been a victim of hyper partisanship.
I am old enough to remember how thrilled we all were when the polio vaccine came out. I remember society shedding a fear that we were constantly reminded of being real and genuine as we saw many in our communities suffer from the devastation of polio. I had classmates that wore braces every day so they could walk. I knew folks confined to wheel chairs for the remainders of their lives, and of course, President Roosevelt was a reminder of the reality of polio as a ruthless disease.
We have all seen the devastation to our communities and around the world this pandemic has brought. We have seen how our health care providers and workers have burned themselves beyond total exhaustion and some have paid with their lives trying to give us care, yet some deny the pandemic as real and refuse vaccination. They defend their choices through their faiths and some sort of false patriotism promoted by a bad president and many others.
I get tired of all this. I get tired of the divisiveness, and I get most tired of the lack of care for the common good. I get tired of the willingness to throw our communities under the bus.
I wish I could say I see things getting better, but I don’t.