Dave Simpson: Time To Forgive And Forget? Nope.

Columnist Dave Simpson writes: "After almost three years of vilifying us over one often contradictory decree after another, the folks who made no secret of their frustration with us even firing some for not taking an experimental vaccine now those folks want understanding. I don't think so."

Dave Simpson

November 07, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

So now they want a mulligan.

After almost three years of jawboning us, browbeating us, even vilifying us over one often contradictory decree after another, the folks who made no secret of their frustration with us – going so far as to fire some from their jobs for not taking an experimental vaccine – now those folks want understanding.

Writing in “The Atlantic,” Brown University professor Emily Oster advocates a “pandemic amnesty,” “forgiving the hard calls that people had no choice but to make with imperfect knowledge.”

You know, the hard calls they jammed down our throats that, in many instances, proved unwarranted.

Those vaccines, you recall, were supposed to keep us from getting Covid, keep us from spreading it, and keep any case we might get mild. Well, not so much. White House officials, despite getting the very latest in vaccines and boosters, seem to be getting a lot of repeat cases. Including the president himself.

We’re supposed to forget the conflicting messages over when to wear a mask, how to wear a mask, whether to wear two masks, or whether to eschew masks entirely so hospital workers would have enough. We’re supposed to forget about the military folks, hospital employees and others who lost jobs for refusing to take an experimental vaccine.

Remember the president saying he had lost “patience” with us, as if we were children? He wanted companies of over 100 employees to mandate vaccines.

We’re supposed to forget about the censorship we saw on social media, where mention of anything contrary to the gospel according to Dr. Fauci was met with condescending messages supposedly “debunking” differing views. Some were barred from social media platforms entirely.

We’re supposed to forget about the price paid by our kids, kept out of classrooms for an entire school year or more, with long school closures now deemed an overreaction. We now see a dramatic drop in national test scores.

We’re supposed to forget the businesses forced to close their doors, some never to reopen.

We’re supposed to forget about the trillions doled out – borrowed, as usual, from our grand kids – by politicians whose answer to any problem is to spew billions.

Like Saturday Night Live’s Emily Litella, we’re supposed to say, “Nevermind.”

Does the term browbeating sound too harsh?

I’m reminded of a column in our Cheyenne paper from last December, headlined, “It’s time to make villains of the unvaccinated.”

“You’ve made your pointless point,” columnist Rodger McDaniel wrote. “You’ve put your most selfish self first, refusing to protect others, spewing lies and misinformation. You’ve persuaded a spineless governor to side with the virus to protect your ill-conceived ‘rights,’ rather than the health of the people.”

“What kind of person makes choices with the intent of harming others?” McDaniel asked. “If you are one of the unvaccinated, look in the mirror.”

All this for refusing to take experimental vaccines that, it turns out, fall short of what was promised.

We keep learning more about these Covid vaccines, some of it not good at all. We wait for another shoe to drop.

I’ve written here before that I am unvaccinated. I got a mild case of Covid a year ago, got over it in a few days, and have not had a recurrence, protected so far by natural immunity.

I’m in the herd.

Since then, I’ve undergone a heart procedure that could have been complicated by cardiac inflammation, which some medical professionals suspect may be triggered by certain Covid vaccines. I’m glad I wasn’t vaccinated. A second heart problem was the last thing I needed.

Does that make me a selfish villain, making a pointless point? Spewing lies?

I understand that health officials were dealing with an evolving crisis. I understand the fits and starts that occurred along the way. I have regard for those who made a different decision than I did and took the vaccine. I get all that.

I have a problem, however, with the vilification that anyone with a different viewpoint, a contrary opinion, or a reasonable concern, endured over the last two nasty years. Why the hate?

Simply put, where there are questions, there should be choice.

Pandemic amnesty?

I don’t think so.

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Dave Simpson

Political, Wyoming Life Columnist

Dave has written a weekly column about a wide variety of topics for 39 years, winning top columnist awards in Wyoming, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska.