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OK, it’s all really about the economy

7 mins read

There is an age-old, home-spun platitude that is nonetheless true, as most home-spun wisdom tends to be: “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” 

I have tried to change mostly unchangeable attitudes of determined folks, but I have been using high-test vinegar. Mea culpa. 

Marinated in linguistic “honey,” I wish to encourage unvaccinated folks to give vaccinations serious reconsideration, for an important reason you may not have thought of previously. 

Most every U.S. economist, left- or right-leaning, conservative or liberal, or any orientation in between, agree that the low-level-of-vaccination-based COVID-19 situation is a constant and dynamic encumbrance on the recovery of — wait for it — “THE ECONOMY!” 

Virtually every country’s economy has suffered deep distresses; none have revitalized their financial drivers of national stability and growth to pre-pandemic levels of 2019. Put another way, eight billion consumers can’t all be wrong. 

So, forget the arguments directed to those determined not to get vaccinated, a minority of about 25 percent. Instead, let’s encourage them to cogitate on the non-medical reality that unvaccinated folks mostly hurt themselves by damaging the economy. A stuttering economy hurts everyone. 

Consider this: stores of all types are closing again; most malls remain deserted (a great place to do a zero-to-60 test of that new super-Corvette); untold numbers of restaurants remain closed, many of them never to reopen. Millions of jobs are available but CEO’s cannot find sufficient workforce to operate at full capacity, because many workers have died from COVID-19 and/or have chosen other better paying jobs. Yet millions remain unemployed and without a dependable livelihood. 

Remember those bargain stocks you bought that were guaranteed to “go through the roof,” but bombed instead? Remember that new car you were ready to buy to replace your 10-year old klunker, but you couldn’t manage the exorbitant payments because selling prices are off the charts and certain key parts aren’t available, thus delaying production? 

Guess why that happened? 

There is insufficient room here to even begin reciting all the economic damage entwined in the base of COVID-19’s wreckage to limb, life and livelihood. In the arena of national commerce, recent polls show that more than half of all Americans favor vaccine requirements at work. Failure to do so will continue dragging economic recovery. 

Here is one big hurt on the economy to consider. The Kaiser Family Foundation calculated treating each unvaccinated, COVID-19 infected/hospitalized sick person, costs about $20,000 for each patient, or about $3.5 billion in just the past three months, with 287,000 preventable Covid-19 hospitalizations from June to August. The economic-based destruction of the means of financial support for millions of Americans will continue until we bring COVID-19 under control. There is only one way to do that, boys and girls, and you already know what that is. 

Most cinemas and plays have not reopened. Rambunctious unvaccinated teenagers who can’t go to movies are driving their parents nutzoid by staying home. Opening all movie-houses quickly will save parents’ sanity. The best way to parental nirvana is to maximize vaccinations by reassuring unvaccinated folks to become part of a large and safe majority is a good thing. 

Without a robust increase in vaccination rates soon, we will not achieve “herd immunity,” which means that the economy will remain sluggish at best, and will continue struggling to recover. Decaying economies nearly always lead to undesirable societal changes. We’re already seeing the negative consequences of this correlation. 

The economy-based social changes in America today are partly reflected in sharp divisions because of our battered economy, not the least of which is the division of vaccinated versus unvaccinated “tribes.” It is said that, “a rising tide raises all ships.” This is a physical truth, unless there is a leaking hole in the ship’s hull. A strong economy tends to benefit all Americans, unless there is an error in the calculation. 

Ignore the truths that unvaccinated folks are 11 times more likely than their vaccinated neighbors to get sick and die; that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and exceptionally effective; that unvaccinated folks are quite prone to infecting others, most often family members; and so on. 

Regrettably, these truths haven’t encouraged unvaccinated folks to get “the jab.” Please do think about the devastating impacts of all this on the economy. 

Perhaps the time has come for our unvaccinated kinsmen/women to reflect on the duties required of each of us, as good citizens in our society, to give serious reconsideration to the “goodness” of the act of vaccination. Saving your own life and that of loved ones, and even strangers, is the highest level of “goodness” in America’s exalted values. 

Good for your body and soul. And good for THE ECONOMY! Go for it! It will not hurt you. 

“Well, all I know is what I read in the newspapers.” – Will Rogers. 

David M. Taub was Mayor of Beaufort from 1990 through 1999 and served as a Beaufort County Magistrate from 2010 to 2015. You can reach him at david.m.taub42@ gmail.com. 

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