I don’t think the mad dog will care

There are many scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird that are disturbing but the first time I saw the movie (I was probably around fourteen) the scene that really upset me was when Atticus shoots the rabid dog. I didn’t understand why the dog couldn’t just be captured and nursed back to health. My father explained that there is no cure for rabies. That an animal with rabies cannot be controlled and will mostly likely die a horrible death and that if he bit or even scratched one of the townsfolk, they would most likely also die a horrible death. So even though the dog couldn’t help his illness and didn’t deserve to be shot, the community had to be protected.

When I hear people saying they are not getting vaccinated and they are not wearing a mask and they are not socially distancing, I remember that scene. The corona virus is like a mad dog roaming the streets. You can protect yourself from getting it and infecting other people … or:

  • You can go out in the street and tell that mad dog you don’t believe he’s really rabid.
  • You can say to the mad dog, “God gave you the rabies because you were a bad dog but God will protect me.”
  • You can tell the mad dog he’s infringing on your constitutional right to run free without a vaccination.

Either way I don’t think the mad dog will care.

And to those who say: “It hasn’t been tested enough.” Well that’s kind of like saying: “Even though the Titanic is sinking, those life boats haven’t been fully tested in ice water. I’m going to wait on the deck and listen to the band play until I’m sure.”

Now before you lambast me for being a nincompoop, let me tell you that I have had covid although at the time (January 2020), I thought it was just a killer flu. The first night I spiked such a high fever that the queen size bed I was sleeping on was soaked right through to the mattress. Despite anti-histamines and nose sprays and Vicks Vaporub, I struggled to breath. Then, when the newspapers started to list the symptoms, I began to wonder. Especially when, come summer, I had no feeling in my feet and had lost all sense of balance.

If this post sounds a little angry, it is. You can be like Atticus Finch and protect your community by getting vaccinated or you can try negotiating with the mad dog and put yourself and others at risk.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Atticus Finch to Scout

33 thoughts on “I don’t think the mad dog will care

  1. This post is perfect, Jan. I simply cannot understand why anyone would not get vaxxed, now that the vaccine is readily available and I doubt there’s a person alive who hasn’t (either directly or indirectly) been affected by this horrific disease.

  2. This is a perfect analogy, Jan. You are absolutely right. I am sorry you got Covid and hope that your symptoms will abate in time.

    My daughter & son-in-law both are convinced they had it in January also, before anyone knew what it was. When they heard what the symptoms were, they were convinced – loss of taste & smell and fever were the main ones. They are fortunate that it had no lasting effects on them.

    1. Thanks Amoralegria! Glad to hear that your daughter and son-in-law had no lasting effects. I can’t really complain as I’m getting too old to climb up on ladders anyway!

  3. We all struggle to rationalize stupidity. In the end, one must conclude that science & logic will not work to sway a large portion of the population. The reason for this is actually quite simple. You’ll forgive me for using this as my go-to argument, but the following can never be overstated: 1/2 of humanity has an IQ less than 100. And roughly 1/3 has an IQ 95 or less.

    We know that IQ is not an accurate measurement of street smarts or emotional intelligence. And that lumping 1/3 of the human race into a grossly defined classification is fraught with issues and loaded with assumptions.

    But as a general heuristic, intelligence runs the range and there will undoubtedly be folks at the low end of the spectrum. It’s not their fault. They’re just genetically unintelligent. If said folk are raised with and exposed to science and logic, then their easily persuaded minds might allowed them to get vaccinated and believe the threat real. On the other hand…

    Then again, all arguments are moot in light of the Absurd Universe. Kill the dog, embrace the dog, in the end it doesn’t matter.

    1. People with high IQs can do really stupid things especially if their logic is flawed. So I think it’s more a matter of having critical thinking skills which can be taught.

      1. Fair point. Look at all the intelligent religious folk. And the GOP and their legions. Gotta be some pretty smart people in that group, despite their failure to think critically. That must be indication of the nurture side of the equation. Brainwash ’em when they’re young and you get ’em for life.

  4. I totally agree let’s shoot the mad dogs! … That is politically incorrect isn’t it! I don’t care , I am double vaccinated but I shall carry on social distancing and wearing a mask. Go you! My mother in law died of Covid last year and our middle son had it at Christmas…it was awful as he doesn’t live with us! He’s still suffering from fatigue though back at work.be safe 💜

    1. Thanks Willow. I think of it more as no one wants to shoot a diseased dog just as no one wants to be told they have to get a shot. But you do it to protect the community.

  5. Hi Jan,

    The allegory about the Titanic is really, really great! It is funny and clever. You need to somehow get this on a TV show as in: Jim Acosta: “I received an interesting email today which drew a comparison between passengers on the Titanic and anti-vaxxers.” People need simple, yet direct examples of how stupid they are acting. I’m afraid we are at the confluence of ecology, politics, society, and economics which are all colliding in an explosive fashion. Racism and money are the common threads in all of it. Have you heard about the “managed retreat” of towns on rivers and the seas? It’s a real thing that is happening. I have been using climate refugees for years, since we saw it overseas countless times. All of this is leading to the collective depression of young people. Many are asking, what’s the use? It’s all ending. I have relatives on Lake Eire and they are bracing for newcomers who are escaping the nightmare of heat, no water or flooding. Europe is the new deadly example of climate change and Biden is correct, pandemics and climate change go hand-in-hand. I’m waiting for a new variant to come out of the idiots in the states that is more contagious, more deadly and totally resistant to the current vaccines. We are there and only one step away from Vincent Price and the “Last Man On Earth”. Of course, it could be a woman and wouldn’t it be fitting if it were you? Good luck and love. Duke

    1. I left this out:

      They’re rioting in Africa,
      They’re starving in Spain.
      There’s hurricanes in Florida,
      And Texas needs rain
      The whole world is festering
      With unhappy souls.
      The French hate the Germans,
      The Germans hate the Poles;
      Italians hate Yugoslavs,
      South Africans hate the Dutch,
      And I don’t like anybody very much!
      But we can be tranquil
      And “thankfill” and proud,
      For man’s been endowed
      With a mushroom-shaped cloud.
      And we know for certain
      That some lovely day
      Someone will set the spark off,
      And we will all be blown away!
      They’re rioting in Africa,
      There’s strife in Iran.
      What nature doesn’t do to us
      Will be done by our fellow man!

      Those great prophets and truthtellers, The Kingston Trio.

    2. Thanks Duke. I don’t know if there are any safe places. I think that’s a pipe dream. I don’t want luck – I want to be the first to go but you know me! Love Jan

  6. No, not a nincompoop at all. Saying what many of us are thinking. Well done for writing and publishing this. Of course, we also need to realise that the whole world has to be double-vaccinated before we all can say we’re safe.

  7. Well said. But I still am disappointed that it needs to be said. You’d think common sense and a desire to live among healthy people would be enough to ensure that everyone get vaccinated. Obviously I’m an idealist for thinking that.

    1. Thanks Ally. I think people go into denial and then even when the facts go against them they can’t admit they might have been wrong. They’d rather take their chances with the mad dog.

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