Live and let live. That might be the right approach to the debate over Covid vaccines. A big part of “live and let live” is listening. A big part of “live and let live” is showing respect. A big part of “live and let live” is demonstrating humility. It troubles me how those who express reservations about being injected are described. Questions are raised regarding their intelligence or character. To put it bluntly, they are called stupid or selfish.
Numerous people have testified to severe, even life-threatening, reactions to the vaccines. The long-term effects are largely unknown. This isn’t a call against vaccination; it is simply an appeal to recognize there are legitimate concerns to be raised. Perhaps “live and let live” should be replaced with “love your neighbor.” That credo is used to encourage vaccination.
Loving one’s neighbor also means not dismissing the findings of serious doctors and scientists. It means having open discussions among experts from all over the world—learning from other nations. It means genuine investigation, not shutting down or censoring. It means not threatening, not shaming, not compelling, not proclaiming that one’s patience is wearing thin.
“Following the science” would seem to require employing all the methods and medications available. To insist on vaccines from pharmaceutical companies (who make billions of dollars and are shielded from lawsuits) as the only option hardly seems to qualify as following the science.
[The scientist from Thomas Dolby’s 1982 video for “She Blinded Me with Science”]
At a deeper level, this is about more than vaccination. It is about how we treat each other. The thought of our eyeing each other with suspicion disturbs me. An atmosphere of fear calls out our less noble qualities. Whatever one’s viewpoint on the vaccines, is it possible for us to regard each other with a little more love and with a little less fear?