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Rolla Peace News

March 2, 2021
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In this newsletter is:

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          From Our Readers: On Getting Vaccinated



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office, THIS THURSDAY, MARCH 4, FROM NOON TO 1:00 PM (and most subsequent Thursdays until Peace is established). Please join us this Thursday in saying NO WAR AGAINST IRAN or any other country. The temperature is predicted to be in the 60s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.

Note 1: Since there are so few of us, generally 2 or 3, no need to cancel; but let's maintain social distancing.

Note 2: In case of inclement weather, vigils may be canceled or terminated early.

Note 3: On February 19 we began our 15th year of weekly vigils for Peace at the Rolla Post Office.

2. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)

From Our Readers: On Getting Vaccinated

I received three responses relating to my short snippet last week on vaccine hoarding, in particular to the final two sentences, “I think I'll pass on getting vaccinated. Send my vaccine to Zimbabwe or Palestine instead.” I have rarely, if ever, received three responses to one small snippet; so I must have hit on something very important.

Here, again, is the snippet:
“While wealthy countries rush to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19, 130 of the World's poorest countries have not received a single dose of vaccine. Frontline medical workers in Zimbabwe are dying for lack of protection, while “lawmakers” and hospital administrators in the United States cut to the front of the line. Israel is vaccinating its entire population while ignoring the needs of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation for over half a century.

“I think I'll pass on getting vaccinated. Send my vaccine to Zimbabwe or Palestine instead.”

One reader writes:
“The trouble with passing on your vaccination is that it's not really yours. You can't pass it on to Palestine or Zimbabwe or anyplace else for that matter. In fact, if you don't take it when it's your turn, it may just go bad and be thrown away. Also, you just might get COVID and be put in a hospital, taking up space that somebody else might need for an unrelated matter. And then who would write the Rolla Peace News? So I urge you to please take it.”
Another writes:
“you have packed so much into this week's edition. The Heart of Darkness quotes (I remember the first one). The Over the Edge Piece which was profoundly moving and left me searching to learn more about Afghanistan. The statistics on where our vaccines are going, a new perspective I hadn't yet heard but which does impact whether I would want to get the vaccine. I appreciate the wisdom you share, Yusha, thank you. Wishing you well this evening.”
A third sends a link to register for a vaccination, https://modhss.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_231d5TxZxkGedCt, without comment. (This, I take to mean, Just go register and get your shots. If I misinterpret, let me know.)

A hearty thank you to all three readers who took the trouble to write in. There is so much to respond to here, I hardly know where to start.

Well, let's begin with, “The trouble with passing on your vaccination is that it's not really yours.” Well, then who does it belong to? Big Pharma, which developed the vaccine with public money and is making billions of dollars off of it? The US government, which bought it from Big Pharma with public money after paying for its development?

In my opinion, since this is a global pandemic, vaccines *SHOULD* belong to the global commons, not to any particular country or corporation — you know, like the atmosphere *SHOULD* belong to the global commons and *SHOULD* not be used by any particular country or corporation as their own private trash can.

Unfortunately, as pointed out last week, the wealthy countries, which have a terrible record when it comes to sharing, have cornered the market on COVID-19 vaccines.

Now let's talk about origins. Although the origin of SARS-CoV-19 is uncertain, it was discovered first in China. How did it get there? Lots of conjectures; but few facts. (As mentioned before, I consider most likely the conjecture that it was created in a laboratory and released in China as an act of sabotage.)

How did it spread? People, mostly from wealthy countries, traveling and jet-setting around the world; people shipping stuff around the world, mostly to wealthy countries. One thing is certain: Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, living under an almost complete Israeli blockade, aren't the ones responsible for spreading the pandemic around the world.

Well, when it comes to distributing vaccine, shouldn't those least responsible for spreading disease get priority over those most responsible? Wouldn't that be fair?

Unfortunately, the first reader is correct. As much as I'd like to, I cannot pass “my vaccine” (which isn't really mine) along to Zimbabwe or Palestine. However, since it's not really mine, it shouldn't matter much whether I take it or not. Right now, the lines are long. If I don't make an appointment for a vaccination, “my vaccine” goes to someone who did; and everyone gets to move up one notch. It doesn't sit there spoiling waiting for me to make an appointment. If I change my mind, I can always get on line later.

I don't expect to change my mind soon for a number of reasons:
1. I'll probably only be around for a few more years at most. Seems a shame to waste scarce vaccine on giving someone who sleeps most of the day a possible year or two more of life. Wouldn't it be better to give “my vaccine” to my daughter and son-in-law who are raising four children, one less than six-months-old?

2. I have a home where I can shelter-in-place and not spread disease among the general population. Wouldn't it be better to give “my vaccine” to a homeless person or a prison inmate who can't shelter-in-place?

3. I rarely go out and when I do I am double-masked and come in contact with few people. Wouldn't it be better to give “my vaccine” to a pre-school or kindergarten teacher who comes in close contact with twenty children five days a week for seven hours a day?
And finally:
4. With so many people, so much more needy than I am, in so many corners of the world, I would feel like an accomplice, if I accepted scarce vaccine from the same system that denies that same vaccine to those most in need.
Maybe when all the teachers and homeless people are vaccinated and Zimbabwe and Palestine are getting their fair share of vaccine — maybe then, if I'm still around, I'll get in line for a vaccination.


Here is an article by Nick Dearden detailing the system by which Big Pharma makes obscene profits, while literally killing people in poor countries; and how wealthy countries, through their system of global patents enforce this atrocity.


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Wage peace,

yushasager (at) yahoo.com