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A Frustrated Parent

A close friend of mine, who wishes to remain anonymous, sent this e-mail to a listserve of which I am a member. I thank my friend for kindly permitting me to share the e-mail here in full, save for the removal of all identifying information.

[Joe] Rogan has also not been shy about pointing out the relationship between comorbidities and Covid risk… and the extent to which most of those comorbidities are related to personal behavior.

To make a highly impolite, Rogan-esque observation–Justice Sotomayor is a 67 year old overweight diabetic who participated in oral argument on Friday by phone because she was too afraid to come to court to hear the arguments in person. And her response to this is that every American–including our kids–should be compelled to get vaccinated to protect people like her. Well as far as I’m concerned, she can go… jump in a lake if she thinks that’s the way to deal with this pandemic. After all, she is at not only greater risk of contracting Covid than my healthy 16 year old daughter, once infected an overweight older person exhales virus at a rate that is equivalent to many health children (I can’t find the reference now, but I saw one study that said that one obese person exhales as much virus as 3 dozen healthy kids when they are sick). https://www.pnas.org/content/118/8/e2021830118?fbclid=IwAR3ehuTazHtsV5-qsljmXsVx4jYwjYAVdgFo6yMzth6XFQuC9OADfPOokAI

So yeah, I’m getting more than a little frustrated with this idea that people who are unwilling to control their own health, even to the extent of endangering the rest of us, are now claiming its my daughter’s responsibility to risk her health for them. She has to stay out of school for a year because of people like Sonia Sotomayor? She is now in therapy and on anti-anxiety medication that makes her ill because school closures, masks, and paranoia spread by fat people like Sonia Sotomayor imply its my daughter’s job to risk her mental and physical health because some 67 year old Supreme Court Justice can’t put down her Krispy Kremes. And Sotomayor and people like her instead imply it is healthy, young unvaccinated people who are supposedly the reason why Covid has been so bad.

Enough is enough. And I say “God bless Joe Rogan” for pointing out how much of this problem is one of personal responsibility and behavior, not “the virus” as if it operates as some sort of exogenous force over which we have no control at all. Yeah, the virus is gonna virus and we can’t do anything about that–but beyond the catastrophic and counterproductive public policy choices there are some real personal choices at the bottom of this.

Sorry for the rant but [John Doe] really hit a trigger point with me because [my daughter]’s school district just recently redefined “fully vaccinated” as requiring a booster shot and I’m trying to process that.