Vaccination, Politics, Health & Individual Choice

We must keep our eye on the prize. The COVID pandemic is real and will not end until we are united in our action to end it. We must beat this thing and we must pull together to make that happen.

My plan is to live to be 100, to see my grandchildren have children of their own, and to dance at their children’s wedding.

I’m 67 years old, take no regular medication whatsoever, and maintain a fairly healthy diet. While I could use more regular exercise, I’m in generally good health.

My birth father Marvin Lee Hooser, passed away at the young age of 57 from respiratory problems associated with emphysema. During the course of my life, when I have occasionally fallen ill with a cold or flu, respiratory issues sometimes debilitating in nature including bronchitis and walking pneumonia, too often followed.

Given my history, it’s clear that any respiratory illness exacerbated or precipitated by a COVID infection…is not something my body would likely handle well.

So, let’s move back to Zoom for now. And please, if you have not already done so, get vaccinated. I have been vaccinated and will get a booster whenever it’s available and recommended by my primary care physician.

While I believe in personal choice when it comes to health matters, if you choose not to get vaccinated please wear your mask and limit your social interactions. On a personal note – I prefer not meeting in person with anyone who has not yet been vaccinated.

There, I said it. I’m trying to respect those who feel differently on this issue, but the bottom line is the protection of my own life, my family’s personal health, and the health of our community.

If you have religious or medical reasons for not being vaccinated, I respect your choice and wish you well.

But please don’t base this critical decision on YouTube videos, politics, or the advice of people who claim a global conspiracy.

The current hysteria over vaccines and vaccine mandates is based on fear and driven by a seemingly endless wave of misinformation. And of course, all good conspiracy theories are grounded in the premise that “it could be true”. Yes, it could be true – but it’s not. Most misinformation starts as a kernel of truth taken out of context and quickly strays into speculation and hyperbole.

Modern vaccine history began in the late 18th century with the discovery of smallpox immunization by Edward Jenner. Vaccines have been used since then to eliminate smallpox, fight the polio virus and prevent infectious diseases like measles, diphtheria, and whooping cough.

Though the current angst reverberating around the state surrounds “vaccine mandates,” all 50 states have for years mandated the vaccination of students. Vaccine mandates are not new. Hawaii currently requires all those attending public/private school grades kindergarten – 12 to be vaccinated against Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Polio, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, and Chickenpox. Hawaii Revised Statutes: §302A-1154 states:

“(a) No child shall attend any school in the State unless the child presents to the appropriate school official documentation satisfactory to the department of health that the child has received immunizations against communicable diseases as required by the department of health.”

Similar to school admission policies, employers, both public and private, have the right and many would say the obligation to require their employees to be vaccinated in order to protect all employees and customers.

Unfortunately, the escalating rhetoric has resulted in people claiming they are being “forced” to vaccinate. Actually, no one is forcing anyone to do anything. Parents are free to homeschool their children if they object to vaccinations for religious, or health reasons. And of course, individuals have the right to quit their job and find another one if they so choose. Apparently, the job market is hot at the moment and so that should not be a problem.

To all who have so far refrained from choosing to take the shot, I encourage you to review the credible data, speak to those in the medical community whom you trust – and make a decision that best protects your own life, and health of your family.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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9 Responses to Vaccination, Politics, Health & Individual Choice




  2. Jon Olsen says:

    Gary, You have drunk the “koolaid!” I have been paying attention to the many, many dissident doctors and those with PhD’s in related fields for over a year. Below is just one of them. I would say 90% of what we hear on mainstream media, government agencies, and of course the profit-grubbing Big Pharma is opposite, and it is THAT which his misinformation. I can supply you enough info the counters the main narrative that would make your head spin. This is only one.

    Commentary below from a Green colleague–we are both avid anti-imperialists NOT right wing. By the way the very phrase “conspiracy theory” is designed to short circuit and sabotage rational discussion of evidence in a controversial issue, and has been used very successfully by the CIA since they first used it to discourage anyone from probing the JFK murder, which we know know WAS a government conspiracy, together with some other shady characters. Jon Must Read!!! Testimony by a doctor about the proportions of vaxxed and unvaxxed who are coming down with covid. And THESE VAXXED INDIVIDUALS ARE ANGRY!!! He talks about Hubris and Nemesis. Oddly enough, he thinks the great outcome of all the Nemesis backlash will be a GOP victory in the next election.

    • garyhooser says:

      Jon…you refer to “Testimony by a doctor…” and attach a link. The link goes to an anonymous comment made on a website. It says “This was posted today at “Naked Capitalism” by an internal medicine doctor who is a regular contributor.” And then nowhere is there any name or credentials or anything at all that says who actually wrote the comment you are so enthused about. I do not consider anonymous comments of “The Naked Capitalism” blog/website to be credible and hold the same weight as my primary care physician and the thousands of other medical doctors and scientists who are willing to use their real names and post peer-reviewed studies and research. On the particular point of the vast majority of current Delta cases are occurring in unvaccinated people: I know personally physicians on the front lines here in Hawaii who are seeing these patients and who attest that it is the unvaccinated who are getting sick. I will take these folks at their word over that of the anonymous blog comment. Sorry Jon…I think it is you who has drank the Kool Aid.

  3. yvonne.e.johnson says:

    Gary, I couldn’t have said it better myself! At 71 years old, and staying healthy by working on my one acre mini farm (doing all the work myself), I feel pretty good for my age. I don’t want to die on a ventilator, however! I got the vaccine as soon as I possibly could and I will take the booster shots when they’re available and Dr. Murray tells me to. Is this because I’m a Democrat? No, it’s because I’m a sane human being!I’ve made it a policy not to allow anybody on my property who is not vaccinated. This includes my beloved hanai son who lives in Santa Barbara and wants to visit with his wife. I said “no shot, no visit.” Now he’s finally decided to get the shot so that he can come visit me and I will go and visit him. He doesn’t get that I’m just trying to save his life. He’s 40 years old, he’s a contractor and so surrounded by people, some who think it’s macho not to wear a mask.I don’t care what anybody says, I put the blame for politicising mask wearing at the feet of President Trump. If we would have had firm leadership from the top saying masks are the way to go from day one of the pandemic, thousands of people would still be alive and we wouldn’t still be having these mask issues a year-and-a-half later. Mahalo for letting me vent!Yvonne JohnsonUS cell: (+1) 808-742-2418

    • garyhooser says:

      Mahalo Yvonne for the words and acknowledgment. Yes…I crossed that bridge “if you are not vacinated don’t come around”…last week. It was a relief to finally get firm on that choice…My wife Claudette is asking “What do you farm?” She also has a green thumb and love for plants and the garden.

  4. Thanks, Gary. Not getting vaccinated simply on the basis of conspiracy theories and notions of “freedom” is downright selfish. And terribly unfair to our overworked medical professionals. Dawn

  5. Gail Jackson says:

    The FreeDUMB to not get vaccinated and/or wear a mask does not include the FreeDUMB to infect your family and friends and co-workers and those around you. What really gets me are parents insisting no masks at schools when more and more children are being infected and ending up in pediatric wards with covid. Many states are seeing this. Story was in NYT.

  6. Rodney Evans says: Note from Gary Hooser: This research report has not been peer-reviewed and I have no idea whether the information contained within it is valid or not. Posters should include their own disclosures of this sort and refrain from posting links or other information without such full disclosure. Thank you.

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