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My two cents on the Covid-19 vaccine back and forth

My two cents on the Covid-19 vaccine back and forth
Vincentian soca artiste Rondy “Luta” McIntosh taking his Covid-19 shot.

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EDITOR: I appreciate that many people are skeptical about taking a Covid-19 vaccine. This is a strange virus, which has caused unprecedented global disruptions and massive changes to the way in which we live. The fact that multiple vaccines have been developed in an extraordinarily short space of time would have always raised eyebrows in the best of circumstances, and these are not the best of circumstances.

Some people feel comfortable taking the vaccine for different reasons – (i) they understand the science behind the creation of the different vaccines and are comfortable with the safety of the vaccine, (ii) they have weighed the pros and the cons and feel that the dangers of contracting Covid-19 are worse than any unknown risks associated with the vaccine, (iii) a combination of (i) and (ii), or (iv) some other reason.

There is still much work to be done to educate people on the merits of taking the vaccine, and this should be done calmly, empathetically, and in a way that makes people comfortable and reassured. We cannot convince someone that they should take a Covid-19 vaccine by berating them, criticizing them, chastising them, or guilt-tripping them.

However, one reason for not taking the vaccine should not be that the vaccine will allow some sort of intracellular marker to be inserted into our bodies, which will allow us to be tracked and monitored by some external agent or organization. Unfortunately, it is too late for that.

The phones that we carry everywhere with us are doing a fantastic job of this already. The GPS trackers on our phones, the apps that we use to chat, post pictures and videos, make phone calls and video chat, shop, measure our pulse rate, track our exercise regimes and places visited, all collect, store and share more information than any internal vaccine marker ever could.

From sJeff Bezos (Amazon), who has extensive details on our shopping habits and our credit cards, to Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp) who has photos of us, our friends and family through virtually all the important stages of our life, not to mention records of our thinking on everything that matters to us and our text messages with our friends and acquaintances, to Larry Page (Google) who knows everything we have ever searched for on the internet and most, if not all, of the internet sites we have visited, to Tim Cook (Apple) and Bill Gates (Microsoft), yes him, whose operating systems control the laptops and tablets that we use, and who conceivably could put in software if they wanted to spy on us every time we used one of their devices, there is very little about us that has not already been collected, stored and shared.

Lest I forget, there are also Alexa (Amazon), Siri (Apple) and Cortana (Microsoft), who pretend to be deaf or asleep until they are directly spoken to and asked a question.

But for them to ‘hear’ every time we call their name and then respond, they must have been ‘listening’ to everything that we were saying in the first place.

All of this is to say that while I understand many of the concerns some people have about taking one of the Covid-19 vaccines, being worried that the vaccine will contain some kind of hidden tracking device, installed by Bill Gates or someone else, should not be one of those concerns.

That horse bolted the stable so long ago, that we would be hard pressed to find the tracks it left behind.

Jimmy Fletcher