In 1967, dear old Dad was given orders to report to Baumholder, WEST Germany (back then, that “WEST” meant a great deal) and that meant once again packing up the possessions and moving to yet another in a series of Strange Lands.
In 1967, the Department of Defense still regarded Europe as it did in the 1940s, a haven for every germ, virus, disease and infection vector known to mankind, so orders for Germany meant shots. Lots and lots of shots. These were not optional shots, these were “shut your fucking mouth, roll up your sleeve and deal with it” shots. The shots were spaced out over a set time frame, as the military had a great deal of experience as to the order the shots could be given and the time interval in between. Some shots did not require much of an interval (read: no interval at all), so one very memorable morning I got one in the left arm, then one in the right arm, and then another one in the left arm. By the time we set foot in the semi-mythical place we call Europe, we were as immune (read: resistant) to any germ that made its home from the Cliffs of Dover to the Iron Curtain as the medical technology of the day could make us. And that is the how and why of a vaccination: it exposes you to some (for lack of a more scientific phrase) watered down form of Germ X, which in turns tells your body to manufacture antibodies to combat this evil germ should it be encountered. If things go ideally, you may well be exposed to Germ X and your antibodies dispose of it so efficiently that you never even know the exposure occurred.
What the vaccinations will not do is render you invulnerable, they will not melt your brain, they will not rewrite your DNA and turn you into a dog, they will not guarantee that you don’t get sick from Germ X. They just stack the deck in your favor as best they can.
The mRNA vaccines that have been rolled out to fight the Chinese War Virus of 2019 are “new” in the sense that this is the first time mRNA has been used in the general population (as a side note for any geeks reading this, an mRNA trial was carried out in 2018 for folks with a rare genetic disorder that leads to extreme plaque buildup, said test was a success). The method by which they work is new, but the effect they have is fairly much identical to the “dead germ” viruses we all grew up with. The mRNA alerts your innards to “be on the lookout” for a particular bad actor (said bad actor being mentioned above) and reacting by attacking the bad guy if it is detected. Just like any other vaccine, you do NOT have 100% immunity to the targeted “germ”, but the deck is being stacked in your favor. Think of annual flu shots here – you may still get the flu, but the odds (chances, likelihood of outcome, etc.) say that your case will be milder and therefore potentially less likely to put you in a pine box, which is a real possibility, especially for the old, the young, the infirm and the unlucky.
You get dealt one hand of cards in life; if you can stack that deck in your favor, you’re a fool not to do it. Politics, religion, race, gender… they have not one goddamned thing to do with it.
Also of note, keep in mind that the average IQ is 100. In the US, it’s actually closer to 95. Always remember that half of the people around you are dumb, too dumb to stack the deck. Also remember the last thing the referee says to both fighters before the match begins: keep your guard up and protect yourself at all times. What I wrote may seem to be a non-sequitur, but it isn’t.
Get the shots.