I haven’t interacted with many people in the last ten months as I have been trying not to distribute any viruses, and truth be told, not to acquire any as well. It seems to be working because ever since I’ve started washing my hands often, sanitizing my surroundings, wearing a face mask, and keeping my distance from almost everyone I’m not sleeping with, I haven’t come down with the flu or even the common cold, which is remarkable for me. It probably helps that I’ve stopped licking interesting things I find when I run errands but we don’t have to get into detail about that.

My focus right now is to get fully vaccinated and do my part in curbing this dreadful pandemic while, conveniently, saving my own sorry arse.

Recently I did have a meeting with a perfectly good looking and reasonable contractor who told me in no uncertain terms that he would never get vaccinated because he didn’t trust the vaccine. Fair enough.

He explained that its speed of development made it suspicious and there are “things” it does to your DNA. Furthermore, it may be contaminated with unintentional or perhaps intentionally harmful substances, and then there are the “unreported mass deaths” associated with the vaccine.

I said I couldn’t wait to get the vaccine because I hear it gets you higher than a kite for a day or two, but curiously, he discounted that as ridiculous.

He didn’t ask where I got my information but I was bold enough to inquire about his. Turns out, his information came from the internet as he felt the mainstream media is not to be trusted. Here I failed to ask why the internet can be trusted as opposed to large news organizations which we have historically trusted for fairly accurate information. This was an embarrassing omission on my part, but I decided that I was there to listen and learn, and not to deafly engage in an exchange of views out in the snow, where we might slip and fall, were we to come to blows. We went inside to look at the job.

Trust is an interesting concept. One reason my contractor doesn’t trust the vaccine is because he has no experience with it. He trusts the brakes in his truck, and if those fail, he trusts the emergency department at the hospital to patch him up with drugs made by the same companies that make the vaccine, but those are things with which he has had experience and he understands. He has not had experience with vaccines and, furthermore, he may not believe in, or want to know, how they are supposed to work.

As far as the vaccine not being pure, I tried the “might help and can’t hurt” approach.

I mentioned that drug addicts have been using dirty needles to inject themselves with illegal substances that have been criminally diluted with impurities including laundry detergent, talcum powder, even rat poison. Addicts aren’t the picture of health, but our bodies do miraculous work counteracting a lot of the substances with which we try to kill ourselves. He wasn’t buying it.

Trust is a particularly delicate attribute that is easily eroded, broken or destroyed. It is often built atop a shaky tower of assumed truths, subtle prejudices, and irrational beliefs. In the end, you have to look at who you trust and why. You have to scrutinize what you know — and this is the hard part — you have to use your brain to weigh the facts and make a decision.

I know: it’s not fair! It’s like having to solve story problems in math class again. Yes, I agree, it would be so much easier if you could just pick whatever source of information is the most fun, or sort of feels right, and then follow that to the letter without thinking. Yes, we all love and support freedom of speech, but how unfair to burden us to sort out what is being said.

Well, I’m so sorry, but you’re just going to have to do your best, as life isn’t fair.

Luckily, we live in the United States so you can do more or less what you please without critically thinking about it. But, before going out to do your own thing, it would be patriotic, ethical, and civilized if you gave the rest of your fellow Americans some consideration.

It’s a real stumper. We can turn the United States into the land where people don’t think, which would be easy on the brain, or we can continue to build government by and for all the people. However, to build a good one, it will require rational thinking, all kinds of expensive and difficult education, compromise and, I’m sorry, more story problems.