We’re fed up and not going to take it anymore!

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” declared the longtime news anchor Howard Beale in the 1975 film classic, Network. 
“Fed up” sums up the growing impatience these days with those who are not vaccinated. And with the frightening new virus, Delta, that’s spreading, consider me a member of the extremely worried – and fed up – brigade. And I’m not the only one. To wit:
“I want to slap them. Scream at them. Tell them that if they insist on elevating superstition over science and a cracked version of personal freedom over public health, fine, they can go live in some epidemiological Wild West of their own. Just don’t look to us when hospital beds run short.” 
Okay, he meant it, I think. 
Well, he really didn’t mean it, I think. 
The “he” here is columnist Frank Bruni. The “it” is what he said about the unvaccinated. Now in all fairness, a paragraph later Bruni urged us not to indulge in the kind of outburst he fantasized about above.  But the point is that more often than not, private conversations among the vaccinated sometimes take a less than polite tone: “These selfish idiots have wrecked our chances for getting back to normalcy.”
“Emotions like those aren’t helpful. If we shame and insult the unvaccinated, they will only dig in and become more stubborn,” said Peggy Drexler. “It’s more effective to ask questions and listen respectfully as they explain their misgivings about the vaccine.”
Point well taken Ms. Drexler, but c’mon now, where do we draw the line between the patience of the vaccinated (70% of the population) versus the resistance by the unvaccinated (30% of the population)? Sobering infection rates and images of unvaccinated people hooked up on ventilators in hospitals and spikes in deaths across the nation are enough to test anyone’s patience.  
Now before we “throw the baby out with the water,” as the saying goes let’s peel back the onion and explore my unscientific “profiles” of the unvaccinated. 
Some avoid shots for legitimate medical reasons. Others may be in jobs without paid leave which makes it difficult to step away for a vaccine shot. Of course, there are those who consider themselves invincible from COVID and others who are the hard-headed recalcitrant, “I won’t allow the authorities infringe on my rights and tell me what to do!” 
All that aside, the truth is that the virus has already killed more than 600,000Americas, and the new fatalities are almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.  
Turning to some opinions by those who’ve  written on this issue.
“We were almost there,” wrote Leonard Pitts. “We were this close to getting this thing under control, to seeing one another smile, to cookouts, to visiting grandpa, to signing off Zoom, to normal. Now we see it all slipping away as inexorably as the tide going out. We return to masking up, hiding our faces like bank robbers.”
“Requiring the vaccine makes sense,” wrote Ruth Marcus. “Those of us who have behaved responsibly — wearing masks and, since the vaccines became available, getting our shots — cannot be held hostage by those who can’t be bothered to do the same, or who are too deluded by misinformation to understand what is so clearly in their own interest.”
“Seeking to understand dangerous behaviors and beliefs is quite different from permitting them,” wrote Sarah Smarsh.
Continued Pitts, “There is an old Southern expression: A hard head makes a soft behind. Translation: Your stubborn defiance will get you spanked. Falling infection numbers have hooked a U-turn. We face the prospect of returning to isolation, to ordering in and watching talk shows produced in spare rooms.”
“Indifference to others is why they (antivaxxers) routinely violated social distancing requirements in stores, getting in people’s faces, coughing on them, yelling at them, just for wearing a mask in keeping with a retailer’s policy or state or local mandate,” wrote Tim Wise. “At some point, we will have to decide to stop coddling these folks.” 
“Vaccines offer us the freedom to be human beings again,” said Colin Dickey. “Yet,” adds Andrew Sullivan, “the same vaccine holdouts who frame their actions in terms of freedom and personal choice insist that private employers do not have the freedom to require them to wear a face mask, or mandate their workers or customers be vaccinated. It’s time to call their bluff.”
So in the end, I say this to Howard Beal; here we are some 46 years after your outburst on that classic film, many of us like you are mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore!”
We’re fed up with being fed –and cooped – up!
© Terry Howard is an award-winning writer and storyteller, a contributing writer with the Chattanooga News Chronicle, The Douglas County Sentinel, The American Diversity Report, The BlackMarket.com, co-founder of the “26 Tiny Paint Brushes” writers’ guild, and recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award.

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