A Self-Limiting Problem

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Some wag, way back when dinosaurs ruled the earth, once commented that homosexuality is a self-limiting problem. I assume that he (or for that matter, maybe, she) meant that homosexuals don’t breed, so they can’t produce more little homosexuals. Of course there’s many things wrong with this comment, not the least of which is that homosexuality is somehow a ‘problem’.

The writer of the comment assumes that homosexuality has a genetic component. That is, homosexuals are born not made, which is almost certainly true. But the writer was totally wrong when he/she suggested that homosexuals do not breed. They can, they do, and they have always done so, by one means or another.

I don’t know whether the babies of homosexuals are more likely be homosexual or not, but if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say that the kids of homosexuals would be slightly more likely to be homosexual than the kids of heterosexuals. This would be because the kids of homosexuals would be less likely to suppress any homosexual tendencies in themselves than the kids of heterosexuals. Just a guess.

The mothers of homosexuals are mainly heterosexual women, so homosexuals are not going to die out unless the human race changes and homosexuals are not born. This is good, because they are often colourful and interesting characters. I know that’s a stereotype, but it’s not far off the mark.

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The thoughts above came to me when I was thinking about something completely different. Anti-vaxxers. They are far from my favourite people. They are the aggressive fundamentalists of this era, the sort that get up in your face and cover you in spittle as they shout their arguments at you from very short range. That’s also a stereotype, and it is also not far off the mark.

When we get vaccinated, we protect ourselves and others from diseases like Covid-19. We all wear masks because that probably reduces transmission of the disease. The vaccines will protect us and will reduce the effects of the virus if we come in contact with it, but they are not perfect. A few people will get the virus even though they have been vaccinated, but only a small number out of an already small number will need hospitalisation. Very few will die.

But those who have not been vaccinated will, if infected, probably need medical help. Many of them will end up in hospital. Some will die.

So, will anti-vaxxers die out? Will they die or recant before they can have children? That seems unlikely, as many of them already have children and scream “You’re not putting that junk into my child’s arm!”

Also, being an anti-vaxxer is probably not hereditary. Of course, their children will be indoctrinated by their parents with their parents’ anti-vaxxer views, and in that way the parents’ views would be ‘inherited’ by the children. Later the children could encounter a disease that kills them because they are not protected against it. They would not pass along the anti-vaxxer mind set to their potential children and the anti-vaxxer mind set would die out, but only in that family.

Unfortunately, the anti-vaxxer mind set can spread sideways much faster than it can die out. An anti-vaxxer can ‘infect’ many others with their mind set in a very short time.

Since it looks like anti-vaxxers are not a self-limiting problem, we will have to live with them. We’ll need to get vaccinated, and we will need to pay our taxes to provide the medical services that they and their kids will likely need. It’s the price we pay for living in a free society. It would be a lot easier if we could compel them to get vaccinated, but that is not something that anyone in their right mind would want to do.

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With any luck the rise and fall of the anti-vaxxers will parallel the rise and fall of smoking. At first no one smoked. Then everyone did. It became apparent that people were dying as a result, and while the smokers and the tobacco industry pushed back, the numbers slowly started to fall though it will be a long time until smoking tobacco all but disappears.

Probably the most effective measure that was taken to reduce the number of smokers was the banning of smoking in public places, like pubs and restaurants. It used to be automatic to light up after sitting down. When you had to go outside to light up, it became a chore and this make it easier to give up.

I think that one way to reduce the number of anti-vaxxers would be to ban unvaccinated people from public places, like cinemas and clubs, but that is hard. If everyone carried an inoculation ‘passport’, it might work. Almost everyone carries a driver license, and that works, but there are valid reasons to be wary of requiring everyone to carry an inoculation passport.

Maybe the anti-vaxxers will come to their senses eventually, when they see their unvaccinated family members dying off. Maybe. But by then they will have passed the virus on to others. Innocent people who would get the vaccination if they could, but can’t for some medical reason.

Every unvaccinated person is a Typhoid Mary. It is worth reading that Wikipedia article to get an idea of the mayhem that an uncooperative unvaccinated person can cause. If you are not vaccinated, and you infect someone and they die, then it would make sense that you could be charged with manslaughter. The problem would be proof.

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