Monday, August 23, 2021

The Ongoing War on Covid-19 and the Cantankerous Objectors

Photo Source - Steve Hoffman Music Forums

Last Monday, I got on a jet plane for the first time in over a year and a half due to the Covid-19 pandemic. I'm currently in Seattle and feeling like I'm actually on a vacation. When in Seattle, my wife and I usually see a concert, but we decided we should wait a bit longer to be inside a venue with the Delta variant surging and a large percentage of the population STILL NOT vaccinated.

Due to the pandemic in 2020-21, we have had tickets cancelled for-
  • The Rolling Stones (San Diego)
  • Sheryl Crow (Las Vegas)
  • Sting (Las Vegas)
  • Livingston Taylor (San Diego)
  • Joan Osborne and The Weepies (Seattle)
We're coming back to Seattle in mid-October and Mary Kit and I were planning on seeing one of my favorite bands that I have never seen before, The Jayhawks. This show is General Admission (standing only) at the Neptune Theatre on October 21st. This specific show has already been cancelled twice on 6/18/2020 and 1/17/2021, and we've made the decision not to go. I just have to wonder how the virus will be in October, and standing so close to others in a packed house, and wearing a mask for 2-3 hours? I love this band and really want to see them, but sadly not now 😞.

Even though I'm not going, I'm encouraged that venues like the Neptune Theatre have the following proof of vaccination requirement.

STG requires proof of vaccination for entry to all performances at the Paramount, Moore and Neptune Theatres. Those individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including children under 12, must have proof of a negative Covid PCR test (taken within 48 hours of performance). STG staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative Covid PCR tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Additionally, masking is required inside the venue. Patrons and employees will be required to wear masks, except while actively eating or drinking. (STG Seattle Theatre Group)

Now, two of my heroes of rock 'n' roll have handled their upcoming concerts at venues quite differently. 

The first being Eric Clapton, and without giving him too much attention with his cantankerous past rants about lockdowns and his Covid vaccination, and his new stance that he will not require proof of vaccination before entering his concerts. Moving forward, I just had to say on my July 23rd Monday Monday Music social media accounts, "Goodbye legend, hello dumbass."

The second, and still reigning champion is Jason Isbell. If you didn't get a chance to see Stephanie Ruhle's interview with Jason, here is a condensed version (01:23) with Mr. Common Sense simply explaining the priorities of one's freedom pertaining to The Declaration of Independence.  In my opinion, it's the definitive statement of our current situation with the anti-vax/anti-mask movement during this pandemic.

On August 14th of this month, my vaccination patience with the unvaxxed snapped.

I was on the way to my twin grandson's birthday party when I drove by an anti-vax/anti-mask rally in front of a Kaiser Hospital in San Diego. I thought how ironic, the hardworking healthcare staff providing care and treatment with non-vaxxed covid patients inside, while outside, these selfish dumbasses are carrying signs and waving American flags whining about mandates to their personal rights, freedom, and liberty.

Comparing Wars

Our nation has a history of being divided. You just have to start with slavery and the Civil War.  If you jump to the 1960's, you have the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, abortion and women's rights to name a few. But let's go back to the Vietnam War to compare the protest movement of that time with the current protest movement of the anti-vax/anti-mask protest movement. 

This current movement is fueled by small groups on the left usually peddling the risks of vaccine myths, like vaccines can cause autism. Then there's the much larger conservative groups on the right proclaiming the violations to their 'individual freedom' wrapped around their use of the American flag.

In the Vietnam anti-war movement, the ultimate action by a protester who was called into the 'Military Service Draft' was to declare themselves a 'conscientious objector.' 

A conscientious objector is an "individual who has claimed the right to refuse to perform military service" on the grounds of freedom of thought, conscience, or religion. Wikipedia

The conscientious objector paid a huge personal price in their decision. They either had to flee their country and leave their former life behind, or lose their personal freedom and go to prison for a certain amount of sentenced time. My point here, is that the military service mandate imposed upon them and their individual decision to be a conscientious objector did not physically harm or kill anyone else.

Now for the anti-vaxxer it's totally a selfish decision, nothing conscientious about it, who I now call, "a cantankerous objector." Cantankerous objectors refusing to take the Covid-19 vaccine and fight the war of this deadly virus are in fact making a conscious choice that I define here.

A cantankerous objector is a grumpy misinformed individual who has claimed the right to refuse the Covid-19 vaccine and potentially contract and/or spread the virus causing a range of sickness to death to children and adults in the general population. 

To promote and practice an anti-vax/anti-mask stance is in my opinion, unethical and immoral, it's simply unAmerican. For young children under 12, they have NO Choice, other than to mask-up, unless under two, whom often can't tolerate a sun hat much less a mask around their little nose and mouth. My one-year granddaughter would be in that group. As an adult and/or parent, who would even think only about themselves, much less actively protest to endanger children in an ongoing public health crisis? 

With the Delta variant virus surging- sending children to the hospital, sending businesses and the economy back into limbo, sending us all back to mask mandates for our safety, it's all too much, again! 

I'm beyond patient as a vaxxed American. Driving by Kaiser Hospital on August 14th made me mad as hell!

some old-time American Civics  

In school as children we were all taught about how you don't have the right, or freedom, or liberty to shout, "FIRE" in a crowded theater. This most basic of examples taught us as CHILDREN that the safety of the entire group in the theater superseded any one person's free speech to yell something that might endanger a group of people. 

As Americans, 99.9% got the larger message back in the day, and then from Star Trek, Wrath of Khan, Spock says, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” Captain Kirk answers, “Or the one.”

And, The Three Musketeers- One for all, all for one.

Remember Polio?

Polio Iron Lung Ward -
The ventilator/respirator back in the good 'ol days
The history of polio (poliomyelitis) infections began during prehistory. Although major polio epidemics were unknown before the 20th century, the disease has caused paralysis and death for much of human history. Over millennia, polio survived quietly as an endemic pathogen until the 1900s when major epidemics began to occur in Europe. Soon after, widespread epidemics appeared in the United States. By 1910, frequent epidemics became regular events throughout the developed world primarily in cities during the summer months. At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, polio would paralyze or kill over half a million people worldwide every year. (Wikipedia)

In 1921, at age 39, Franklin D. Roosevelt contracted polio and was left permanently paralyzed from the waist down.

Neil Young (5 Years Old)
In 1951, Neil Young contracted polio during the last major outbreak of the virus in Ontario, and nearly lost his life. Fellow Canadian music legend Joni Mitchell, two years his senior, also caught polio during the same outbreak. The family brought him to New Smyrna Beach, Florida in December 1951 where they stayed for 6 months for him to regain his strength. (Tidal)

In the United States, the 1952 polio epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation's history, and is credited with heightening parents’ fears of the disease and focusing public awareness on the need for a vaccine. Of the 57,628 cases reported that year, 3,145 died and 21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. (Wikipedia)

On March 26, 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced his successful polio vaccine to the world. I was born two years later on the same date, and as a child received the polio vaccine as my family and my whole community did, and as all the towns and cities of America did in the 1950's and 60's. Sure there was a mandate to get the polio vaccine before you could go to school, but TEAM America didn't need a mandate to do the right thing.

Elimination of Polio in the United States (from CDC):
  • by 1957 there were less than 6,000 cases
  • by 1963 there were less than 100 cases
  • by 1970  there were less than 10 cases
  • Since 1979, no cases of polio have originated in the U.S.
In the 20th century, TEAM America knew how to come together to fight the fascists in two world wars. So in the war with the polio virus in the mid-1950's, we now were armed with the Salk vaccine as it became 'ALL HANDS ON DECK' to get the vaccine and protect each other. As a country we were divided on many political issues, but when it came to public health issues of life and death, we knew how to come together as a democratic society.

As a result, people like me have never heard of or have never met someone who had contacted polio after my birth year of 1955. In 1955, If you carried an anti-vax sign that read, "LET ME CALL MY OWN SHOTS, proclaiming your personal freedom and liberty as an American citizen in 1955, you probably would have received a strong response being called at the very least, "unpatriotic" and "unAmerican" and quite possibly, "a pinko-commie pig!"

Maybe for the anti-vaxxers anti-maskers out there, we should just rebrand here for their bubble of selfish dilution and now call the Covid-19 virus, "POLIO!" Oh, sorry I forgot, they grew up vaccinated and probably don't know what polio is and it's disabling effects.

Remember Small Pox?

Smallpox is a terrible disease. On average, 3 out of every 10 people who got it died. People who survived usually had scars, which were sometimes severe. (CDC)

Smallpox was found on ancient mummies from 3000 years ago. In the 20th century it killed from 300-500 million people. The vaccine for smallpox was actually first developed in 1796 but only effective after successful world-wide inoculation programs in the 20th century made it completely eradicated across the globe-  
  • North America 1952
  • Europe 1953
  • South America 1971
  • Asia 1975
  • Africa 1977

Remember Measles and ChickenPox, I Do 

Here's a measles story told to me over the years by my mother, Fern.

My Grandparents & 3 Children (1933 or 34)
The McWilliams family were poor farmers in Texas in the depression of the early 1930's. In 1934, my grandparents had three girls, Nellie May (7), Wilma (5), and Juanita (15 months old). In February of that year, all three contracted the measles. Within a short time, both Nellie May and Juanita also developed pneumonia. Nellie May died first and then Juanita four days later. Wilma although very sick, survived the ordeal.

My mother was born in July of 1935, and two sisters, Wanda and Carolyn followed her two and five years later. In 1938, the McWilliams family came to California and although it was not a 'Grapes of Wrath' journey, it was pretty close.

When I was a teenager, my Grandma Mary was over for a family holiday celebration with my aunts Wanda and Carolyn. Some how they got on the topic of Nellie May and Juanita and my grandmother telling us about their lives. 

When it got to their death, there wasn't a dry eye in the house, I'll never forget it. One thing that sticks with me, is that my grandmother said, "After Nellie May passed, Wilma played with Nellie May as an imaginary friend, and she was never the same little girl, and neither was my husband."

8/25/21 Update- Shortly after I published this post, my sister Stephanie called me to remind me that our Grandma Mary's mother had died of the Spanish flu in the 1918 influenza pandemic (678,000 deaths). My grandmother was 13 thirteen years old and one of 12 children. She had to quit school in the 8th grade to instantly become a mother to her younger siblings. Later in 1947, her husband Edwin had a massive heart attack when he was only 40, and then lived in an oxygen tent in their living room for three years before he died at 43. My mother was 12 years old and helped raise her two younger siblings while my grandmother had to go to work and become the Post Master of her small town in Casmalia, CA. Grandma Mary was tough as nails with a heart of gold and had already lived a lifetime of suffering just before modern medicine kicked in the second half of the 20th century.

If you're younger than 55 years old or so, you probably don't remember the measles because a vaccine was tested and then implemented in 1963. As a child before the vaccines, I got the measles and chickenpox (varicella) and believe me I remember it as a horrible experience, same for my brother Steve and sister Stephanie.

In the decade before 1963 when a vaccine became available, nearly all children got measles by the time they were 15 years of age. It is estimated 3 to 4 million people in the United States were infected each year. Also each year, among reported cases, an estimated 400 to 500 people died, 48,000 were hospitalized, and 1,000 suffered encephalitis (swelling of the brain) from measles. Measles was declared eliminated (absence of continuous disease transmission for greater than 12 months) from the United States in 2000. (CDC)

Now my little sister Susan was born in 1965. The Beatles were the top band in America, the Vietnam war was beginning to escalate, but the war on the deadly viruses in America were going, going, almost gone. Susan never had the measles or any other of the world's deadly viruses (maybe chickenpox?), because she was born into the time and culture of the fully vaccinated. Note- The chickenpox vaccine was added to the childhood immunization schedule in 1995. It is part of the MMRV vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccine).

Stephanie's Baby Book.
The immunization schedule is built right-in.
In a conversation with my mother about this a few days ago she said, "I was the first in line to get all you kids the new vaccine whenever one came out."

The Vaccine Life

My point in all this is that the great majority of people living today have no idea how life was before world-wide vaccines and inoculation programs saved millions of lives in the 20th century. When it came to a virus as a public health crisis, TeamAmerica came together because they had directly experienced the suffering and death of viruses. 

In the 21st century, not so much. 

The anti-vax movement first took hold on the fringe left as part of the old dogma of government control of our personal lives coupled with various conspiracy theories. On the right, that dogma has been hijacked and politicized to work as an ongoing dividing wedge to keep conservative politicians in power fighting for "freedom" already and STILL secured here in America as any strong democracy on earth.

The anti-vax/anti-mask movement is bullshit politics, and it's killing Americans everyday as 49% of the total adult population has still chosen not to receive the FREE Covid-19 vaccination. The efficacy data on the Covid-19 vaccines  are overwhelming, they protect us and save lives! 

I can only hope the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers behavior doesn't directly shut down the economy and schools again because of their selfish motives that continues to turbocharge the Delta variant. Didn't this same protest movement complain about the 2020 economy shutdown because of the lockdowns and mask mandates before the vaccine? I guess if you're blinded by dogma propaganda, logic is not part of your self-serving brain.

As of this post, 628,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. It would seem that for the anti-maskers who carry the highly offense signs at their rallies, "I Can't Breathe," I guess that would be to them, 628,000 inconveniences (not to mention that they don't give a rat's ass about George Floyd's and the Black Lives Matter movement's rights, freedom and liberty).

For the all the people in the U.S. who have never experienced suffering and death due to a virus, that time arrived in 2020 with the Covid-19 pandemic. What will change to get to herd immunity for Covid-19 in the United States? Sadly, behavior change for many may only come after a close family member or friend dies from the virus or variant(s). Believe me you didn't have to tell my mom and dad's generation more than once to get a vaccine when technology made it available. 

We will ultimately win the war on the Covid-19 virus and variant(s). But, it would have been wonderful if 21st century America could have come together to recapture "The Greatest Generation" mentality, spirit and disciple that defeated the Nazis and the killer viruses, and saved the world. Thanks mom and dad.


And now for a Live Music Playlist From My Cancelled Concerts Due To Covid-19 that I have missed so far in 2020-21. I also included some live Jayhawks songs because I was so close to hitting the "Purchase" button a couple of times this past week.

Charlie Watts (1941-2021)
Also, rest in peace Charlie Watts. I missed seeing The Rolling Stones during your lifetime and after holding cancelled tickets to your shows in Las Vegas before the pandemic, and in San Diego during the pandemic. It wasn't meant to be, but we have a lifetime of Stone's music and videos of you providing your unassuming solid rock beat as one the best drummers of all-time!



  1. Great blog Doug. If you convince one blog recipient to get the vaccine you’ve done a great thing. I drove by a bunch of idiots with signs about tyranny and stepping on ones freedom myself today and heard your voice in my head. Keep up the good work.

  2. Don't you sound like an imbecile now 🤣🤣🤣


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