Herd Immunity to Herd Mentality | The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Herd Immunity to Herd Mentality
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When my family and I contracted COVID last November and December, we sighed that at least we wouldn’t need to get vaccinated. We need not worry about investigating which of the experimental vaccines we might reluctantly consider injecting into our bodies, especially the non-conventional mRNA-based vaccines (i.e., Pfizer and Moderna), which are quite new and quite concerning. But hey, at least we were contributing to the herd immunity that the nation and world were eagerly racing toward. (Yes, you can thank us for our suffering.)

Indeed, recall the goal: If Americans could achieve the right combination of people who had been infected with COVID and survived it — i.e., herd immunity — and people protected from the virus through artificial vaccine-induced immunity, we would be all set, perhaps by the summer of 2021. That was where the nation stood.

Better news still, surely most scientists figured we were doing much better in hitting herd-immunity numbers than official data suggests, knowing that the number of reported known COVID cases was far lower than reality, especially among young people and the asymptomatic and mildly symptomatic. Consider my family, for instance: At least eight of us had COVID, but only two tested positive. Most had mild symptoms that went away quickly enough to not bother getting tested. Or consider my case: I was the first person in my family to contract COVID. I had headaches for a day, didn’t feel good for a day or two, and figured it was allergies. I didn’t realize something was amiss until I strangely lost my sense of taste and smell a week later. When that was followed by a daughter and son both testing positive still another week later, I knew that I had COVID and had brought it into my family — despite constant masking and hand-washing like the germophobe maniac that I’ve always been (magnified to hysterical proportions during the pandemic). By the time I got tested, I tested negative, as I knew I would because by then I had long since blown through the virus.

So, my family had at least eight positive cases, but only two are officially recorded in CDC numbers. I can rattle off numerous examples of families from my community and even my parish that likewise had multiple COVID cases in their homes but never were officially tested. Truly, I could easily name a hundred people who almost surely had the virus but were never tested and officially confirmed. Either way, the good news about this is that it means that with far higher cases of COVID than we officially have known, herd immunity has come more quickly and closer to more fully than anyone relying on official numbers knows.

To return to my point, I was ultimately happy to be part of herd immunity. As part of the herd-immunity crowd, my family and I wouldn’t need to be part of the vaccination crowd.

Or so we thought.

The push toward herd immunity has given way to a herd mentality. That herd mentality is expressed by the disturbing number of aggressive individuals trying to force even people who have had COVID (and now have antibodies) to receive coerced vaccinations against their will. They are doing it with channeled aggression, insisting upon no exceptions, and demanding that young and healthy students (all of them) get the currently available vaccines before returning to school in late August.

(Very important sidenote: Many individuals currently not vaccinated are awaiting approval of the more conventional non-mRNA vaccines, such as Novavax. If I hadn’t had COVID, that’s what I would likely be doing, or at least that would be a more preferable option. The many Americans in that position ought to be granted that freedom.)

Neither the government nor private individuals or employers can force you to have a needle stuck in your arm against your will.

One of the best expressions of that herd mentality is our president, who wouldn’t know the end of a microscope from the end of a microphone. And yet President Joe Biden made a fool of himself in front of a microphone last week, issuing a stunning threat to the unvaccinated: “We need to go community by community, neighborhood by neighborhood, and oft times, door to door, literally knocking on doors.”

Really, can you imagine? Where’s the ACLU? Where are liberals? Aren’t liberals liberal? Aren’t they all about “my body, my choice” and “keep your hands off my body?”

To the contrary, liberals seem to be all on board, or at least silently acquiescent. Herd immunity doesn’t even seem to be on their radar anymore; they want mass vaccination, period. That’s the herd mentality.

In saying this, let me reiterate what I stated here at length last week. I am not an “anti-vaxxer.” In numerous articles last year for The American Spectator, I expressed my respect and fear for the virus and stressed the crucial need for a vaccine. I was a staunch advocate of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed.

I also noted in that article that there are many alarming reports of people claiming bad side effects, especially young people suddenly stricken with myocarditis (including a 19-year-old girl in my area who received a heart transplant and remains in critical condition). I noted that the official “Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers” of the Pfizer vaccine (updated as recently as June 25) states categorically, “There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved vaccine to prevent COVID-19.”

Quite significantly, the CDC is now openly acknowledging on its website (click here and here) the risk of myocarditis to young people from the mRNA vaccines, and yet is also still recommending vaccination. I commend the honesty, but in acknowledging this, the CDC is throwing wide open the risk of lots of major lawsuits. It states,

CDC has received increased reports of myocarditis and pericarditis in adolescents and young adults after COVID-19 vaccination. The known and potential benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the known and potential risks, including the possible risk of myocarditis or pericarditis. We continue to recommend COVID-19 vaccination for anyone 12 years of age and older. (Emphasis in original.)

This seems extremely unwise advice to a population (healthy young people without co-morbidities) who far and away have very, very low likelihood of death from contracting COVID. It’s especially unwise for young people who already had COVID and don’t want to be vaccinated, particularly against their will.

As for those of us who have COVID, I noted two studies in my article last week. One was a peer-reviewed study published in the journal Nature that found that patients who have recovered from COVID develop “long-lasting immunity,” with “antibody-producing cells in people 11 months after the first symptoms. These cells will live and produce antibodies for the rest of people’s lives.” The other was a major research effort by the Cleveland Clinic, conducted on 52,238 employees, which flatly concluded that individuals who had COVID “do not get additional benefits from vaccination.”

It’s quite fascinating that researchers reportedly associated with these two studies have nonetheless stepped forward and recommended that people receive vaccines. To quote one researcher involved in the Washington University study: “If you’ve already been infected and then you get vaccinated, you get a boost to your antibody levels. The vaccine clearly adds benefit, even in the context of prior infection, which is why we recommend that people who have had COVID-19 get the vaccine.”

And the Cleveland Clinic issued this official response: “Cleveland Clinic recommends those who are eligible receive the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Think about how strange that is. These two studies concluded that if you had and survived COVID, you have antibodies and immunity, and yet some of those involved (or officials at their institutions) are encouraging you to get vaccinated regardless. Why? It’s a good question. And I’m sure that institutional and professional pressure, as well as the hugely significant threat of losing precious government research dollars, has something to do with it.

Either way, this is America. We have a constitution that safeguards our basic civil liberties. You cannot force people to take vaccines against their will.

That brings me back to the pushy people in the herd-mentality crowd.

Most remarkable about the herd-mentality folks is that most of them are vaccinated. They thus need not fear the un-vaccinated, including the unvaccinated herd-immunity people like myself. They are the ultimate discontents, so much so that they insist on controlling the bodies of everyone else. COVID has been a perfect mechanism for them to express a desire to control. And they are doing that now on steroids. They literally want to come knocking on your door. Just ask President Biden.

A good question is how the general public will fight back. Neither the government nor private individuals or employers can force you to have a needle stuck in your arm against your will.

In response to my article last week, I got an email from a student desperate for help. His university is mandating vaccines for all students wanting to return in the fall semester 2021. “I read your article in The Spectator, and happen to fall under the same category as you,” he wrote. “I have had the virus, and therefore am in pursuit of a medical exemption from the vaccine from a qualified immunologist or medical professional. Having already had COVID-19 in March (screenshot attached), I believe that getting this vaccine is something that I would not find beneficial at all for my health. I am attaching studies that I am sure that you have read in regards to natural immunity. In addition, we are seeing more and more links between myocarditis in young adults who have received the COVID vaccine. In the past, I have experienced many reactions to immunizations and have had much more success treating viruses and illnesses using vitamins C, D, and zinc.”

Same here. He’s not alone. What can he do?

I told this young man that he most certainly has my sympathy. I asked who the congressman or state representative or state senator is for his area and urged him to contact those offices. Then again, I noted, if the legislator is a Democrat, he may be out of luck. Indeed, in my home state of Pennsylvania, a bill banning employers from mandating their workers to receive COVID vaccines, sponsored by Rep. Russ Diamond, R-Lebanon, was rejected by every single Democrat on the committee. Every Democrat (the party of the worker) voted against the free-will choice of workers. They all stood behind vaccination coercion for every employee.

The student responded with the lament that his state rep is indeed a liberal Democrat. Out of luck.

But more important, I asked the student this: does the university truly have the authority to force you to have a non-FDA-approved vaccine stuck in your arm against your will? I doubt it. I told him to have his parents call the university and ask that question directly. I also told him that he can be certain that he isn’t the only one pushing back.

Individual Americans need to assert themselves and their constitutional liberties against this herd mentality, especially those of us who suffered through the virus and have contributed to herd immunity.

Paul Kengor
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Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., and senior academic fellow at the Center for Vision & Values. Dr. Kengor is author of over a dozen books, including A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Communism, and Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.
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