The tragic timeline of an anti-vaxxer's COVID death

The tragic timeline of an anti-vaxxer's COVID death
A Palestinian cross-border worker receives his dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre opened at the checkpoint of Meitar, a town of Israel's Southern District. Ilia Yefimovich/dpa

This tweet is spot on:

And what's amazing is just how spot-on it is. Several subreddits over at Reddit, like the Herman Cain Award, have sprung forth to document these stories, repeated time and time again, every single day. Here's one such story:

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It always begins with mocking the vaccine and those who take it, and declaring that the whole thing is a hoax.

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He drank and partied with his neighbors, even as the scientific community was begging people not to. He got lucky, survived the first wave, and the lack of consequences for his reckless behavior just emboldened him to continue laughing at people behaving responsibly. There is a weird obsession with talking about their "immune systems," as if immune systems have ever been a barrier to death by disease.

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More mocking of the vaccine.

Eventually, all the partying and drinking with neighbors caught up to him.

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Prayers needed.

You know the old joke, right? The one about the preacher caught in rising flood waters? A boat shows up, offers to take him to safety, he refuses, because he trusts god to save him. Same thing when a second boat arrives. Waters keep rising, he's on the steeple of his church, a helicopter arrives, he waves it away, he trusts god to save him. He drowns.

Eventually, he meets god, and asks him why his prayers went unanswered. God says, "I sent you two boats and a helicopter, what else was I supposed to do?"

God sent them the vaccine, in record time! And yet they keep praying for salvation.

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I picked this story because its tragic ending had a bit of a silver lining—he recognized too late the folly of remaining unvaccinated. Most of the people in these stories do not. These people go to the grave clinging to their stories that they were infected by vaccinated people, or that liberal hospitals are killing conservatives by refusing them supposedly life-saving treatments like hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin, the horse dewormer.

And yet even his death-bed regrets are met with skepticism and an appeal for crackpot remedies made of lemons and grapefruits—but organic! Even worse, even as he essentially says "not taking the vaccine killed me," the response is "that's good that you did.!!!!!!!" That's next-level sickness.

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At the end, these "pull them up by the bootstraps" conservatives always end up resorting to the inevitable GoFundMe page. Always.

None of this is funny. It's not worthy of mocking. It's not just desserts. By refusing to vaccinate, these people are prolonging our national and global misery while allowing the virus countless new opportunities to mutate and potentially evade existing vaccines. It's crushing the will of our brave and diligent health care providers—doctors and nurses—who fought through two waves during unvaccinated times, but now have to suffer the delta wave when it is so easily avoidable (and for free!).

Maybe, just maybe, enough of these stories will finally jolt these dead-enders to reassess their behavior and vaccinate—for their communities and families, if not for themselves.

Doesn't seem like that's going to happen anytime soon, unfortunately.

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