Editorials: Get the kids vaccinated! and The worst of throwaway culture

THIS boy probably won’t infect the teacher. In a little more than two years, the world of medicine has come an unprecedented long way in response to a global COVID pandemic. We don’t have the perfect vaccine, but several that go a long way toward preventing infection, serious illness and death. But a big problem in fighting the disease is extreme and twisted individualism. Dad doesn’t want to run some trumped-up risk of his kid getting vaccinated that he heard about through some far-right grapevine. But he’s just fine with his kid getting infected and passing it on the teacher. Are we going to blame teachers if their unions take a stand against working in unhealthy conditions? Photo by Panama’s Ministry of Health.

Take the big benefits, run the tiny risks: vaccinate to keep back to school from being a COVID super spreader

There is a risk of a bad reaction to any vaccination. With the COVID vaccines, it’s fairly common to feel the blahs for the day or two after.

At first, hardly any children showed any symptoms from the initial COVID strains. With omicron, the risk of serious illness or death is much greater for younger adults than it was during the first waves of infection. More kids are getting sick, too.

However, the really big problem is with kids catching and spreading COVID in school despite showing no symptoms, and passing the virus on to teachers, principals, school janitors, parents and grandparents.

Panama’s fourth COVID wave is diminishing in some ways, but the daily death toll is still usually in double digits. Nearly 8,000 deaths later — more or less — haven’t we yet learned that denial, or the search for somebody to blame, count for nothing alongside doing what we know we can do to prevent the virus’s spread and limit its damage?

Vaccinate the kids. Consider anyone who advises otherwise to be an enemy of Panama, and of everyone here, no matter the age or nationality.


  • What a HORRIBLE fate!

Is it proper to torture militant idiots with Barry Manilow and whiteboarding?

It’s not that we have ways to make them talk. Actually, we’re sick of listening to them. And besides, if they make full confessions it’s undesirable in the long run to corrupt the courts by urging them to hear such stuff.

The anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers do present a danger to the lives and health of people in society, just like drunk drivers. But then, only the worst police departments torture those who drive under the influence.

Forget the totalitarian stuff. Being mean to anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers is just a matter of reciprocity and the politics of public scorn. It needs to be proportionate to the offense.

Seriously, this mostly far-right movement is the culmination of decades of flaunted selfishness in which the world gets divided into a few winners and a great many more losers, slick hustlers and the chumps who are their marks, the “worthy” and the “throwaway people.” So that twisted movement will have it that THEIR privilege to spread COVID trumps everybody else’s interest in a healthy environment. Theirs is a creepy affront to society in general.

So take them away! Whiteboard them! Force them to listen to Barry Manilow. And treat them with well-earned scorn.


Portrait by Pablo Picasso.

One does not get better but different and older and that is always a pleasure.

Gertrude Stein


Bear in mind…


It is the artist’s business to create sunshine when the sun fails.

Romain Rolland


The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.

Ida B. Wells


You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.

Malcolm X


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night oil