A sincere supporter of vaccinations wrote this message to his Facebook Friends. He said he copied the text with a few adjustments and readers can too.
I accepted his invitation and added a commentary. I assume many share his view. I made on his Facebook page a quick Comment in need of tweaking. I added more for this blog addressed to all of us.
FROM A PRO-VACCINE SUPPORTER
I’m vaccinated and, no, I don’t know what’s in it – neither this vaccine, the ones I had as a child, nor in the Big Mac, or hot dogs I used to eat, or in other treatments…whether it’s for cancer, AIDS, the one for polyarthritis, or vaccines for infants or children. I trust my doctor when she says it’s needed.
I also don’t know what’s in Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or other meds, they just cure my headaches & my pains …
I don’t know what’s in the ink for tattoos, vaping, or every ingredient in my soap or shampoo or even deodorants. I don’t know the long-term effect of cell phone use or whether or not that restaurant I just ate at REALLY used clean foods and washed their hands.
In short …
There’s a lot of things I don’t know and never will…
I just know one thing: life is short, very short, and I still want to do something other than just going to work every day or staying locked in my home. I still want to travel and hug people without fear and find a little feeling of life “before”.
As a child and as an adult I’ve been vaccinated for mumps, measles, rubella, polio, chickenpox, and quite a few others; my parents and I trusted the science and never had to suffer through or transmit any of said diseases … just saying.
I’m vaccinated, not to please the government but:
* To not die from Covid-19.
* To NOT clutter a hospital bed if I get sick.
* To hug my loved ones
* To Not have to do PCR or antigenic tests to go out dancing, go to a restaurant, go on holidays and many more things to come …
* To live my life and enjoy loved ones.
* To have more pillow fights with my kids, many more
* For Covid-19 to be an old memory.
* To protect us.
Many sweet souls were lost to COVID last year.
I am doing my part to stop the spread.
I hope you’ll join me.
Text copied (with a few adjustments), you can too.
You have written a lengthy list of reasons why the Covid-19 vaccination. Many will endorse your words. It makes me feel uncomfortable. We also need to understand the concerns of those who decline a vaccination or feel unable to have the vaccination. We cannot rely upon a vaccination by itself to stop the spread of such a contagious virus. Here are some concerns addressed to all of us, whether we have had the vaccination or not, which we can promote on various platforms and in public conversations.
- What are other steps we need to take besides a vaccination to reduce the spread of this contagious virus?
- Can we campaign for a massive change in the food industry for permitting the sales of processed food, junk food, food with addictive substances? Such a diet contributes to excessive kilos, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, weakening of the immune system and a painful death. 40% of the population depend on processed food, especially among the poor.
- Can we wear a top-quality face mask when near others, promote a truly healthy diet, strengthen the immune system, reduce flying, stop mixing in crowded venues, support those in need and campaign for change?
- Can we compile a list of concerns about the narcissistic self-interest of rich nations and poor nations with nationalistic leaders?
- Can we criticise the vaccination industry which clings to its patents to make $billions out of people’s suffering?
- Can we criticise the corruption among politicians for enabling their friends in the private sector to make a fortune out of the pandemic?
- Can we criticise the vaccination industry which refuses to share its knowledge and profits to serve people worldwide?
- Can we criticise rich governments who hoard millions upon millions of vaccines and give so little to the world’s poor?
- Can we express our concerns for people with cancer, heart disease or terrible daily pain waiting months to see a specialist, let alone get treatment?
- Despite two jabs, we can still get infected and still spread the virus, especially the highly contagious Delta variant, without knowing it. We face a gradual reduction in the space of several months of the effectiveness of the vaccine.
- Some unvaccinated healthy people who have had Covid prefer to rely upon the anti-bodies developed as a result. Many doctors say the anti-bodies from the jab are stronger. Debates on countless aspects of Covid and overwhelming reliance on a jab will continue long into the future.
Criticism serves as one of the steps toward action to reduce suffering and save lives.
This is a global pandemic. Billions of people on this Earth do not have our privilege to choose a vaccine or not.
Science cannot exist independent of politics, economics, medicine, health, social sciences and the global environment. It is not possible for science to have an independent self-existence without interpretation and application of the science by non-scientists, who are the policy makers.
There is a place for debate, for discussion between the pro-jabbers and anti-jabbers. The debate need not get in the way of addressing global issues causing suffering.
We need to remember compassion is as global as the pandemic.
Dear Miles, I accept your valid points and appreciate your fine paragraph at the end. I can see why you would understandably read the blog in a personal way. This morning I tweaked the blog to make clear the questions/concerns were for the wider audience. Love Christopher
Thank you, Christopher. And yes, I agree that those of us who are privileged, be it in social position, or in perspective, have a responsibility to help and serve those who are unable to share in the same privileges. Thank you for your tireless efforts in this regard. Love, Miles
Thank you for taking the time to comment on my Facebook post and bringing your wisdom to the discussion. I’m honored you made the effort.
First I should make clear that the words I posted above are not mine, but rather they were shared anonymously with the invitation to copy and share at the end. That being said I do stand behind every word. And as you well know, when we speak in the public square and advocate our perspectives we always run the risk of making others feel uncomfortable. So even though I stand by my views on this issue, please don’t confuse it for being callous.
As always, your passion, eloquence, and wisdom shine through your words. But I do have 2 issues regarding your comments that I hope you can receive (if not agree with).
1. You’ve created a straw man argument response to my post. By evoking the reprehensible selfish actions of rich countries, nationalistic political leaders, the disgusting habits of the pharmaceutical industry, and so on, it sounds like an attempt to subtly virtue shame me and question my motivation.
As far as I know, you have no idea of my work and where I stand on theses issues. When actually, these are all liberal/ progressive democratic issues of which you and I undoubtedly agree upon for the most part. You ask “why not criticize these issues?” Well, I do. Both publicly and privately. Just not in this post.
So by painting me with the brush of self-interest you make a false equivalency by setting up a straw man argument that confuses the issue. It fundamentally misses the point of the post, which is the reason I chose to trust my doctor and get the vaccine.
2. The second issue I have with your comment is how you set up self-interest against compassion. Suggesting I am motivated by the former, and could use more of the later.
If you read the post again with fresh eyes I think you’d be hard pressed to find selfish intent in the words (subjective as they may be). Even though the vaccine issue is incredibly complex and full of dilemmas that all self reflective people must grapple with, for me it comes down to this simple fact: in this case I trust the scientific method and the medical professionals when it comes to this vaccine. Yes, this is my subjective view. But not selfish.
I also, by the way, respect everyone’s freedom of choice concerning their health, but that’s another issue.
From where I stand, the issue is the pandemic. Denying the terrific suffering this pandemic has caused, and especially influencing others to deny it, is the definition of self-interest (not to suggest you are doing this).
My compassion lies in the suffering this pandemic has caused for everyone. Regardless of where they stand on the vaccine issue. I am in a daily contemplation on the challenge of how to reconcile the difference between those who chose to vaccinate and those who do not. A choice that comes down ones personal freedom. But the choice to vaccinate was easy for me. This may change, but for now it appears the best choice for navigating this pandemic.
As you know compassion is nothing without discriminating wisdom. For me in this Pandemic, the compassionate and discriminatingly wise choice is either to vaccinate, and if not, then accept the consequences of that free choice by regularly testing, masking, and respecting any public health limitations. For the sake of the whole. Anything less is choosing self-interest over public health.
We are both committed to the path of Dharma. And in our own ways we are compassionately working towards the alleviation of suffering in all beings. Even at the unavoidable risk of making some feel uncomfortable. None of us can escape the truth of the human condition. But all of us can be responsible for it.
Love, Miles Kessler
Nah Christopher . I really enjoy your retreats , your discourses on Buddhist thought et al but on this political
Topic totally disagree. I remember many years ago reading a discourse by the Buddha in which he basically said if you are sick go see a physician or as Christ said render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are Gods. You are an excellent Buddhist teacher . Stay with that.
Yes, thought the same, Anthony. Christopher is unsurpassed as a teacher and general dude 😉 but all his stuff on the vaccine just feels similar to the usual anti-vax nonsense, if better thought through and rationalised. For sure we should continue to fight against injustice in all its forms, but if you have the opportunity (as a lucky 1st world person) to have the vaccine then you should for the sake of yours and others health ABSOLUTELY take it. Prevarication and procrastination risks our health, our lives and the health and lives of those around us.
Well said Christopher.