Vaccines are back in the news, with the federal Food and Drug Administration announcing a “second booster” for people over 50 – and continuing fights in school districts across the Fifty States.
Vaccines have always been a hot potato. These days, vaccination seems to be more of a red-hot, blister-burning coal than a hand-warming, foil-wrapped spud. With all the slinging of mud and stirring up of fear and claims in the last 24 months, most of us have done some research on vaccines in the last few months. So hopefully we all know a lot more than we did in 2019 or 202. So, what have we learned? Or what should we have learned?
(Editor’s note: this commentary has ideas triggered by an article at Apologia.com. There are obviously some similarities as TPOL shares your editor’s thoughts on the subject.)
I know the following might sound like ancient history, but let’s go back to 2019. Can you even remember life before COVID? Try your best to recall your knowledge and opinions on vaccines “way back then.” Do you remember the story coming out of New York City public schools in June of that year? It was a big one.
Most American states and schools have had vaccine requirements for decades. And most of us didn’t bat an eye when our pediatrician said it was time for our kids’ 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month shots. Yes, a small percentage of parents opted out of these vaccines. And that often generated blogs or conversations on the pros, cons, history, and effectiveness of vaccines.
That issue picked up in mid-2019. On June 13, 2019, New York Governor Cuomo signed a law stating that public schools would no longer allow religious exemptions for mandated vaccinations. (Although this was viewed by some as just an other Cuomo attack on Jews, the backlash from parents was intense.) Keep in mind: The required vaccinations weren’t out of the historical norm. They included:
- DTaP (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis)
- MMR (measles-mumps-rubella)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- Hepatitis B
Interestingly, a chickenpox vaccine exemption was allowed with proof that your child already had chickenpox, which gave them natural immunity.
The issue was the religious exemption. Parents who were pro-vaccination stood shoulder to shoulder with other parents making a statement that the religious exemption should remain, regardless of whether you were for or against vaccination.
Look now at early 2020, when the Lockdown was just starting. Schools closed. What else happened? Churches went online. Many gathering spots closed altogether, including movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, and stadiums. Everybody experienced some kind of loss, even in States (like South Dakota, notably), where the State government treated us like adults, but big national firms were all woke. Trying to explain masks and closures and social distancing to little children was difficult. (And we now know, damaging in many ways.)
Lots of questions, loss, and suffering. And there wasn’t a COVID vaccine for big government to try and mandate yet.
Fall of 2020 and millions of families started homeschooling (joining many of us who have done so for decades). Of course, the response to COVID ranked near the top as far as reasons: added to other problems in schools it encouraged jumping ship. (Of course, the growing abuse of students over sexual orientation and genital mutilation and worse was far less apparent then than it is today.) But thanks to the Pandemic Panic, kids were required to wear face masks, social distance, and sit behind plastic barriers. Those who didn’t face these obstacles had to take a crack at online learning. Teachers, parents, and students were completely unprepared for “Zoom fatigue” and related problems. They simply tried to copy live teaching in a virtual setting. Those of us who have used a mix of online and parental teaching for years could (and did) tell them that doesn’t work. Not that MOST teaching methods are exactly actively truly promoting learning. Now you changed the rules and most teachers (and too many parents) could not learn the truth: a different format requires a different approach.
As a result, most children (American, European, Commonwealth) have been shorted in their education. Even for those who quickly adopted home-schooling, there was a serious learning curve on the part of the parents. In the past, older and more-experienced homeschoolers were able to help. But they were overwhelmed.
Yes, the public (and private) schools have mostly reopened – although the stupid strike in Minnesota, finally settled after months, shows that is not always the case. And the conditions were far from conductive to learning: masking, social distancing, isolated feeding, and curtailment of outdoor and off-site activities are just some of the things that further degraded public education.
In other words, government-run, taxpayer-funded (or government-ruined, theft-funded) schools are far, far worse than they were in 2019. AND continuing to decline – even more rapidly.
The COVID vaccine and school mandates are a major part of that.
The problem is not with vaccines in general. MOST vaccines are based on sound scientific and medical principles. The problem with the older, nearly traditional vaccines – that created “anti-vaxxers” has two parts: “one size does not fit all” especially when it comes to side effects. AND the damage due to preservatives and other chemicals IN the vaccines which again, can harm some more than others. But the COVID vaccines are different in many ways, even while the powers-that-be demand more and more of them.
The end result: the evils of government-run, tax-funded schools – public schools – just ramped up to the extreme. So we repeat a common theme of The Price of Liberty.
What do parents want? They seek stability and safety and true learning. And the best solution is for the kids to be with their families — at home.