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Do Vaccine Refusers Increase the Risk of COVID Mutations?

MAGA-bred super-COVID could happen, of course. I understand why you’re concerned: One shudders to think what kind of twisted mutations a virus could get up to inside of, say, Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Last week’s column on vaccine refusers omits the biggest threat: The more COVID spreads, the greater the chance of mutations à la the Delta variant. You may wish harm and/or death on your enemies, but wishing COVID on them just makes things worse. —Brook G.

As I was preparing to write this column (I’d polished off the Everclear and was just about to administer the cocaine enema), the news broke that, thanks to rising COVID case counts among people who won’t get vaccinated, Multnomah County’s mask recommendation was back.

Perhaps I speak for some of you when I say: Way to go, dumbshits. Living among the vaccine-resistant is like being in a sinking lifeboat with somebody who keeps drilling holes in the bottom to let the water out—if you have a brand-new Pfizer life jacket, it’s tempting to just let them drown.

Unfortunately, as I mentioned last week, some people either can’t get the vaccine or don’t get full immunity from it. If you just say “screw it” and start licking every door knob you see, you’re throwing these folks under the bus.

That said, Brook, none of this answers your question. You weren’t the only reader to remind me that every case of COVID—even ones where the stupid patient totally deserved it—is another opportunity for the virus to mutate into something even nastier.

MAGA-bred super-COVID could happen, of course. I understand why you’re concerned: One shudders to think what kind of twisted mutations a virus could get up to inside of, say, Marjorie Taylor Greene. But since the U.S. only has 2% of the world’s unvaccinated people, it’s about 50 times more likely that the next virus to end all viruses will come from overseas.

This means that if we’re serious about depriving the virus of its R&D operation, we shouldn’t waste our time beating our heads against the wall over the 90 million Americans who’ve said no to the vaccine. Instead, we should start with more low-hanging fruit—the roughly 4 billion people around the world who haven’t had a chance to say yes to it. Otherwise, when the death-dealing Omicron variant (or whatever) comes to wipe us off the map, we’ll have no one to blame but ourselves (and by “ourselves,” of course, I mean “each other”).

Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.