The Dangerous Choices of Meghalaya’s Anti-Vaxxers

The 2’nd wave of the Pandemic swept through the country leaving a trail of destruction everywhere; it was evident even in our tiny state, how the wave has ravaged through many unfortunate households. Yet here we are, still having to deal with people who think the virus isn’t real; and worse yet, people who know the virus is real but are spreading misinformation to the public, creating more confusion, and making it more difficult for people to come to the right conclusions. 

These half-baked intellectuals came out in droves on the comment sections of various social media handles, where the news article about the DC’s order for shop owners to get their staff vaccinated before they can open their shops again. First, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to the DC of East Khasi Hills for having the mettle to deal with a population such as ours. A population which will complain that the government does nothing for them but when the government is extending its helping hand, they don’t want to comply, and I am very sure if everything goes wrong again, they will blame the government yet again for…”not doing anything”. I am referring to the government’s vaccination program in the state of course.

The DC is trying her best to help ease the crisis in our state, which at present, there are two. One, the Covid crisis that’s staring us right in the face, and the other, the economic crisis faced by the people of the state which was an outcome of the first. The DC is tasked with solving both problems at once. What is she to do? She can’t just allow all economic activities to open; what if there’s a sudden spike in cases, so much that all the hospitals in the state are filled up? What if you or a loved one caught the virus and can’t find a single vacant bed in any hospital? Will you blame the DC then? The only solution that seems plausible is for the vast majority (at least 70 -85%) of the population to get vaccinated, it seems to be working fine for most of the rich countries who were first in line to acquire the vaccines. But as I’ve mentioned before, our population is filled with those who either cannot grasp the concept of what a vaccine does or those pseudo intellectuals that will not waste a single second of their day spreading misinformation about the vaccine. Countless hours have been wasted on the latter bunch, trying to clarify and rectify whatever misconceptions they had about the vaccine, but to no avail. 

They call the DC’s move “authoritarian”, which may seem so, but what can the DC do? She has to stop these two crises as soon as possible and trying to reason with what seems like ‘a brick wall’ at this point, isn’t helping. I must agree that the DC’s move might incite more fear and hesitancy in the public, considering how thick most of our people are. So, I would like to provide an alternative!

While this entire imbroglio is going on, we seem to forget the most important individuals who are at the forefront of all this, the healthcare workers! Every healthcare worker will either directly or indirectly have to deal with the outcome of whatever decisions are made on the issue. Hence, it is rather nauseating to see comments of people who are against vaccination saying, “my body, my rules”. Well, if you chose to not vaccinate citing “my body, my rules”, then I think the DC should instead pass an order that allows healthcare workers to choose whether or not they should treat an unvaccinated person suffering from Covid19. Why should healthcare workers bear the brunt of someone else’s unfounded choices/decisions? In the end, it is the healthcare workers (and their families) who are at risk because some self-centred person made choices that only (seemingly) benefits them! As unethical as it sounds, I feel it would bring about a more balanced feel to settle this issue. The healthcare workers should not be the victims of people’s arrogance anymore. Also, if the ‘anti-vaccine’ brigade has any suggestions for a better alternative to stopping the pandemic, then I’m sure we would all love to hear it; because as of now the best option we have is the vaccine (as suggested by real professionals tirelessly working in this field).



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One Comment

    June 17, 2021

    I was just thinking a Khasi translation of this article might help more people

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