Many of my grandkids love knock-knock jokes, but the younger members of the gang don’t quite grasp the concept. They get the “Knock-Knock” part correct, but the rest of the joke falls pancake flat, as in:
“Sally I don’t know who.”
In their defense, let me add these kids are three and four years old.
Now, following in the steps of these preschoolers, our government plans to put into action its own nonsensical “Knock-Knock” jokes.
This week, the Biden administration announced its plans to send government agents to rap on the doors of households whose members have so far refused the COVID-19 vaccines. Open the door, and you’ll find persuaders eager to change your mind so you’ll take the needle in the arm. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the administration hoped “to get remaining Americans vaccinated by ensuring that they have the information they need on how both safe and accessible the vaccine is.”
Call me bewildered.
For 15 months or more now, the “information” we’ve received from different sources regarding COVID-19 has been confusing and often contradictory. We were told that the virus had almost no effect on young people, but now elementary school children are encouraged to take the shot, while some colleges require the vaccine for returning students. We’ve been told masks worked, masks didn’t work, and two masks worked better than one mask. We were assured the vaccines are safe, though some in the health and science communities suggest otherwise. We were told Hydroxychloroquine was useless in treating COVID-19 but now data suggests the opposite may be true. We were told the virus came from a Chinese wet market but now possess a growing mountain of evidence it originated in a Wuhan laboratory.
Many others, including health professionals, have staked their tents in this camp of confusion. Recently, for example, a Florida nurse who is also a relative urged me to get the vaccine, citing the number of new COVID-19 patients being admitted to hospitals in the Sunshine State. At the same time, a Virginia nurse warned another of my relatives never to get the vaccine, saying her hospital was seeing many patients who took the injection and are now showing symptoms of COVID-19.
One thing we do know for certain is that the COVID-19 death rate in the United States is under 2 percent, and far less for those who are under 70 years old or who have no underlying health conditions.
So is the vaccine effective? Will it do more harm than good in the long run? I have no idea. Unlike so many of those experts in our government, I am willing to admit my cluelessness as to whether the vaccine works and whether this experimental drug is good for our overall health. Like the nation at large, the majority of my friends and family members have gotten the vaccine. Others are taking a wait-and-see attitude. I hear good arguments from both sides.
But I do wonder why the government is so concerned that we all get the vaccine. If this epidemic was the Black Plague or polio, and tens of millions faced death, or life in an iron lung, most of us would eagerly receive a preventative medicine. We’d be lining up for the needle.
But that’s not the case. In the past, we decided as individuals whether we’d receive the seasonal flu shot. Society assumed we could look at our health and circumstances and make our choice. Today we face tremendous pressure to take a COVID-19 vaccine.
So why the change? Why does the government intend to send public health officials door-to-door to harangue people in our homes? One has to wonder if it is prudent or necessary to spend millions more of our tax dollars on such a project. What happens to those who still refuse the vaccine? Will they be put on some government watch list, or quarantined?
I heard of one young man, an anti-vaxxer, who wrote about this “Knock-Knock” policy on Facebook and was equally mystified. He ended his post with these words: “I don’t think this is going to end well.”
Jeff Minick lives in Front Royal, Virginia, and may be found online at jeffminick.com. He is the author of two novels, Amanda Bell and Dust on Their Wings, and two works of non-fiction, Learning as I Go and Movies Make the Man.