Why exactly am I getting this vaccine?

Hi. My name is John, and I’m a COVID Longhauler.

I hate you, CNN. I hate you for many reasons, of course. You pioneered the 24-hour news cycle, which is what kicked off the degradation of journalism because, with all those hours to fill, you turned to people who could squawk the loudest for the longest and dressed it up as “news.” And if you think that little change didn’t start a direct path to people storming the Capitol, well, let’s talk.

But not today.

Today I want to talk about this article here: “I’ve had my COVID vaccine: Now what can I safely do? Your questions answered”

First off, as a former copy editor who wrote killer headlines back in the day, this headline is completely wrong. More accurately, it should read, “I’ve had my COVID vaccine: Here’s everything you still can’t do, and we’re not going to answer the one question that you will be left with: Why exactly am I getting these shots?”

Because I know the average person’s attention span is that of a goldfish and because I just want to save some time for those of you who would rather not read drivel, let me sum the article up for you.

Despite the fact that last month I got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and that this coming Wednesday I will get the second dose gladly, willingly, from a drunk monkey if that is the only creature available to give it to me, I will still not be able to:

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  • I shouldn’t go without a mask. OK. I get it. It’s bad PR. I’m all about marketing, and I think we still need to, as a society, be showing that masks save lives. So even if I’m Super Inoculated Man, I’m willing to wear a mask just so everyone else is encouraged to wear a mask. Hell, if more people who happen to be close to those I love the most would have been on board with masks and other recommended restrictions, I might not be in the current condition I’m in. But I digress. According to CNN, however, I must still wear a mask because:
    • The vaccine isn’t 100% protection (there’s a joke to be made here about condoms, but I’ll rise above);
    • “Everyone’s different” and some will have better immunity than others, which strikes me akin to “more unique.” And all copy editors know that nothing can be “more unique.” It’s either unique or it’s not. You’re either immune or you’re not;
    • The virus is mutating and the vaccine won’t stop some freak version;
    • I could be a silent spreader. A whatnow? A silent spreader! Like Typhoid Mary Mallon, an Irish immigrant who refused to believe she was an asymptomatic conduit for typhoid fever because she remained healthy, refused to cooperate with authorities and contaminated at least 122 people in the 1880s, leaving five dead. (My gawd does she sound exactly like some of the early COVID deniers, or is it just me?) As CNN says, “This scenario could apply to COVID-19.” Great. Just freaking great;
    • Immunity might not last. We need boosters for things such as tetanus and diphtheria, and that might just be the case for the COVID vaccine, but no one knows if or when. Lovely.
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  • I shouldn’t start hanging around friends again. Good news! If all of us have received both shots, the risk is reduced, “especially if the visit is outdoors.” So I need to find immunized friends, remember all those things I just wrote about in item No. 1, above, and then take the party outside in the winter. “It’s probably pretty safe to see others who were also vaccinated…” says a human person. Probably pretty safe? Probably pretty safe?!?!? But if I want to visit indoors, “the safest way is still for everyone to quarantine for at least 10 days and lower their risk during these 10 days.” Oh, but I could make it better and easier than a full 10 days: “Quarantining for seven days and a negative test is an option too, but everyone also has to do the quarantine — a negative test alone is not enough.” But wait! There’s more! “You should continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing whenever you are around others.” So what exactly has changed regarding my ability to hang out with fellow humans?
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  • I shouldn’t go to an indoor restaurant, concert or sporting event. “Even with a second vaccine, you’re still taking a chance that you might be exposed to COVID-19 and become a silent spreader.” Ya know. Like Typhoid Mary. “COVID John” does sound pretty cool, though. OK fine. But surely I can go to restaurants with friends if the tables are spread 6 feet apart, right? Yeahno. “I think the 6 feet indoors is not enough by itself,” says another human person. Oh, and let’s not forget No. 2, that I shouldn’t be hanging out with friends anyway.
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  • I can’t travel. “I want to emphasize that now is not the time to be traveling, period, internationally or domestically. It’s just not a good time to be traveling,” says a really smart human person. But surely that doesn’t apply to those who are vaccinated, right? Wrong. “Getting vaccinated does not say now I have a free pass to travel. Nor does it say that I have a free pass to put aside all of the public health measures that we talk about all the time.”

Let’s review: Getting vaccinated is HUGELY IMPORTANT and it’s a MAJOR STEP in getting the virus under control. It is so hugely important and such a major step that those who get vaccinated are recommended to do absolutely nothing different after being vaccinated than what they were recommended to do before.

So can someone who is evidently smarter than I am or more wise than this CNN article please tell me: Why exactly am I getting vaccinate?

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