Please Get Vaxed

My guess is that the readership here at YSDA is pretty diverse. Of course, if you found your way here you are an intelligent, thoughtful and discerning person by definition.

But, since I’m a center-left moderate (and still a liberal in many ways) who isn’t shy about taking on the hard-left and Democrats when I think they’ve gone astray, I think it’s fair to say that we’ve got our fair share of conservatives in these parts. So, some of you may not have gotten a COVID vaccination out of principle or because you don’t think you’ll get seriously ill even if you get COVID or maybe you just don’t like needles. (I’m with you on that last one.)

But here’s the thing. For me, it’s about personal responsibility. My biggest problem with the hard-left these days is it’s discounting of personal responsibility in favor of dividing the world neatly into oppressors and victims based on race and gender. Of course, there are things out there that we can’t control, but as the cliche goes, we also make our own luck. Everybody gets dealt a different hand; it’s a question of how we play it.

What these folks are missing is that personal freedom comes with personal responsibility.

Which brings me back to the vaccination. I got it because I wanted to take responsibility for my own health and the health of those around me. The risks of a negative reaction are infinitesimal while the chances that I won’t get COVID are overwhelming. No, I don’t like needles and I just don’t like being in medical settings. But I sucked it up because I felt it was the right thing to do.

How about the argument that the drugs haven’t yet gotten their final approval from the FDA? Under normal circumstances, I’d share that concern. But these are far from normal times. We’re dealing with a pandemic. The drugs have proven effective and safe and they had to be used before the full FDA process had run its course because of the urgency of the situation. And I can’t help but observe that for a group of people who are skeptical of anything the government says to suddenly want to wait for the feds to cross every ‘t’ and dot every ‘i’, is kind of ironic.

Sometimes I hear people say that it’s a personal choice; that your decision not to get vaxed impacts only you. But that’s clearly not the case. If you get sick you’ll put a burden on the whole health care system. Somebody else might not get treatment, not just for COVID but for a variety of other ailments, because the system is overwhelmed with patients like you, who are needlessly ill.

And, even if you never show symptoms, you’re still a carrier. You’ll never know how many other people you infected and what their fate was.

Finally, consider what’s happening in the big picture. The markets have become volatile because investors aren’t sure the recovery won’t dip again due to the delta variant outbreak. Public health officials are reimposing mask mandates in a growing number of cities. I hate wearing a mask. I’ve even written that Madison was taking it too far several weeks ago when it seemed like the pandemic was all but over. But now I was clearly wrong about that. And yet, if enough people had gotten the vaccination, masks wouldn’t even be an issue again.

To put it plainly, it’s not all about you, but it is about your own personal responsibility to yourself and to those around you. For those of you who are concerned that our country has gotten away from the values of personal responsibility, I agree. That’s exactly the reason to get the vaccination.

Welcome to the 160th consecutive day of posts here at YSDA. Thanks for reading!


Published by dave cieslewicz

Madison/Upper Peninsula based writer. Mayor of Madison, WI from 2003 to 2011.

9 thoughts on “Please Get Vaxed

  1. “Sometimes I hear people say that it’s a personal choice; that your decision not to get vaxed impacts only you. But that’s clearly not the case. If you get sick you’ll put a burden on the whole health care system….
    And, even if you never show symptoms, you’re still a carrier. You’ll never know how many other people you infected and what their fate was.”

    In addition to that – one of the biggest reasons to get the shot is that the longer the virus keeps circulating the more likely an even more deadly or vaccine resistant variant then Delta comes along.


  2. I’m not following you on the personal responsibility angle Dave. The covid infection fatality rate is 0.28%. If it was 10%_and_the vaccine was an effective treatment_and_it was properly evaluated, ok you might have an argument. But it’s not. There are extremely effective and well studied treatments for covid. If they had been widely used, hundreds of thousands of lives in the US alone would have been saved.
    The vaccine is not going to eliminate coronavirus. Delta is only the latest variant. The vaccine is of limited effectiveness against it – Pfizer is saying you need a third jab. The lambda variant is already a variant of concern – There are many letters left in the Greek alphabet.
    The vast majority, >99%, of people get covid and get over it. The pandemic, which, prior to covid, was defined as a high rate of death and hospitalizations over a wide area, is over.
    I am extremely grateful the Republicans control the legislature in WI. Otherwise the Democrats, yourself likely included if you were in that position, would be taking the lead on the march to totalitarianism, in a ‘we know what’s best for you’ mask. I did not vote for any of the current Republicans, a mistake I intend to remedy going forward.


  3. Responding to your assertion that there no risk to the vaccine, here is a brief risk/benefit analysis with a link to the full article. The article was written by ‘Doctors for COVID Ethics’ an international organization composed of doctors and scientists from 30 countries.

    My summary:
    There is no need – natural immunity, plus effective pharmaceutical treatments are sufficient.
    Efficacy has not been properly demonstrated
    Safety – many serious well documented issues are presenting for the vaccinated.

    Abstract of the paper

    Necessity: immunocompetent individuals are protected against SARS-CoV-2 by cellular immunity. Vaccinating low-risk groups is therefore unnecessary. For immunocompromised individuals who do fall ill with COVID-19 there is a range of medical treatments that have been proven safe and effective. Vaccinating the vulnerable is therefore equally unnecessary. Both immunocompetent and vulnerable groups are better protected against variants of SARS-CoV-2 by naturally acquired immunity and by medication than by vaccination.

    Efficacy: Covid-19 vaccines lack a viable mechanism of action against SARS-CoV-2 infection of the airways. Induction of antibodies cannot prevent infection by an agent such as SARS-CoV-2 that invades through the respiratory tract. Moreover, none of the vaccine trials have provided any evidence that vaccination prevents transmission of the infection by vaccinated individuals; urging vaccination to “protect others” therefore has no basis in fact.

    Safety: The vaccines are dangerous to both healthy individuals and those with pre-existing chronic disease, for reasons such as the following: risk of lethal and non-lethal disruptions of blood clotting including bleeding disorders, thrombosis in the brain, stroke and heart attack; autoimmune and allergic reactions; antibody-dependent enhancement of disease; and vaccine impurities due to rushed manufacturing and unregulated production standards.

    The risk-benefit calculus is therefore clear: the experimental vaccines are needless, ineffective and dangerous. Actors authorising, coercing or administering experimental COVID-19 vaccination are exposing populations and patients to serious, unnecessary, and unjustified medical risks.

    Link to the full article:

    Link to the organization:


  4. More nails in the vaccination protects coffin –

    The vaccine does not reduce transmissibility, nor does it provide immunity.

    My biggest question: why is no one in the mainstream, or anyone locally in our theoretically health-oriented Madison, discussing natural immunity? Want to do your bit for yourself and your fellow Wisconsites? Get it and get over it.


  5. I will post one more response here, assuming that you see these Dave. It is a quote from Charles Eisenstein, writing on the historic developments of fascism and totalitarianism, and how the rhetoric being whipped up against the
    ‘unvaccinated’ is the same as various historic pogroms.

    “Fascism taps into, exploits, and institutionalizes a deeper instinct. The practice of creating dehumanized classes of people and then murdering them is older than history. It emerges again and again under all political systems. Our own is not exempt. The campaign against the unvaccinated, garbed in the white lab coat of Science, munitioned with biased data, and waving the pennant of altruism, channels a brutal, ancient impulse.

    Does that mean that the unvaccinated will be rounded up in concentration camps and their leaders ritually murdered? No. they will be segregated from society in other ways. More importantly, the energies invoked by the scapegoating, dehumanizing, pollution-associating campaign can be applied to gain public acceptance of coercive policies, particularly policies that fit the narrative of removing pollution. Currently, a vaccine passport is required to visit certain countries. Imagine needing one to go shopping, drive a car, or exit your home. It would be easily enforceable anywhere that has implemented the “internet of things,” in which everything from automobiles to door locks is under central control. The flimsiest pretext will suffice once the ancient template of sacrificial victim, the repository of pollution, has been established.”

    Don Lemon (CNN anchor) publicly stated that the unvaccinated should not be able to shop for groceries or possess driver’s licenses.

    Where do you stand on this Dave?

    Here is the link to the full article:


    1. My stance, Tom, is that you’re way over-reacting. Would you not get your kids vaccinated before they started school? It’s just common sense and it’s just the right thing to do for yourself and your community. I just do not understand those who are seeing this as some sort of threat to their freedom. A ventilator really is an impediment to your freedom.


      1. Thank you for your response Dave. Though relevant, my point is not to vaccinate or not, my point is what right does society have to use force on those who choose not to? If you choose to do so out of altruistic purposes, more power to you. But that you cannot see that people in positions of power threatening to cut off necessary life supports if one does not see it as you do, is where the great danger lies.


      2. We just disagree, I guess. Society uses force for all kinds of things. If you endanger others by driving too fast down a freeway or through a school zone you get a stiff fine.


  6. Here are a couple of points for your consideration Dave. Point One – An organization was formed on December 10th 2020 called the “Trusted News Initiative”, which I would nominate for the Orwellian Award for 2020. The group decided that no news would be allowed through their portals that presented vaccines in a negative light. The group represents most of the major players. If you are relying on mainstream sources for your position, you are not getting the whole picture.

    Point Two – the NIH is a co-owner of the Moderna patent. Doesn’t this make you at least think twice about their motives?


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