When I think about the current politization of the COVID-19 vaccine, I am thankful there was no such thing as social media or fake news during the polio vaccine rollout of the late 1950s. I remember as a kid my parents taking me to a fire station so my family and I could take the vaccine (in sugar cube form) so we would not get polio. Polio affected millions of Americans, including President Franklin Roosevelt, and the elimination of the disease was truly a miracle of modern science. Due to the vaccine the United States has been polio-free since 1978.

Fast forward to 2021. Another deadly virus is affecting the world, and vaccines are available to mitigate or stop it altogether. Most of the citizens of the United States are cooperating in the eradication of this latest attempt to kill us off, but not all. The politization of a vaccine is a symptom of what happens when people hear what they want to hear and believe what they want to believe, regardless of what the science proves.

There are myriad excuses the unvaccinated use for endangering their life and others' lives. They range from the ridiculous to the more ridiculous. A chip is present in the vaccine. The science is not proven. I’m a Republican, and I don’t want to help Biden. Joe Blow on Facebook says it’s not safe and I always do what Joe Blow says. I have probably already had it. I’m afraid of needles.

The bottom line for me in all this is that I will continue to wear a mask in enclosed spaces to protect myself and the unvaccinated. You can’t fix stupid, but maybe COVID-19 can.

— Bob Goon, Bakersfield