‘If you want to leave, take good care, hope you make a lot of nice friends out there.” — from “Wild World” by Cat Stevens

This is for those of you who’ve chosen to quit your jobs rather than submit to a vaccine mandate.

No telling how many of you there actually are, but lately, you’re all over the news. Just last week, a nearly-30-year veteran of the San Jose Police Department surrendered his badge rather than comply with the city’s requirement that all employees be inoculated against COVID-19. He joins an Army lieutenant colonel, some airline employees, a Major League Baseball executive, the choral director of the San Francisco Symphony, workers at the tax collector’s office in Orange County, Florida, and, incredibly, dozens of healthcare professionals.

Well, on behalf of the rest of us, the ones who miss concerts, restaurants and other people’s faces, the ones who are sick and tired of living in pandemic times, here’s a word of response to you quitters: Goodbye.

And here’s two more: Good riddance.

Not to minimize any of this. A few weeks ago, a hospital in upstate New York announced it would have to “pause” delivering babies because of resignations among its maternity staff. So the threat of difficult ramifications is certainly real. But on the plus side, your quitting goes a long way toward purging us of the gullible, the conspiracy-addled, the logic-impaired and the stubbornly ignorant. And that’s not nothing.

We’ve been down this road before. Whenever faced with some mandate imposed in the interest of the common good, some of us act like they just woke up on the wrong side of the Berlin Wall. “There’s no freedom no more,” whined one man in a video that recently aired on “The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.” The clip was from the 1980s, and the guy had just gotten a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt.

It’s an unfortunately common refrain. Can’t smoke in a movie theater? Can’t crank your music to headache decibels at 2 in the morning? Can’t post the Ten Commandments in a courtroom? “There’s no freedom no more.” Some of you seem to think freedom means no one can be compelled to do, or refrain from doing, anything. But that’s not freedom, it’s anarchy.

Usually, the rest of us don’t agonize over your intransigence. Often it has no direct impact on us. The guy in “The Daily Show” clip was only demanding the right to skid across a highway on his face, after all. But now you claim the right to risk the healthcare system and our personal lives.

So if you’re angry, guess what? You’re not the only ones.

The difference is, your anger is dumb, and ours is not. Yours is about being coerced to do something you don’t want to do. Like that’s new. Like you’re not already required to get vaccinated to start school or travel to other countries. For that matter, you’re also required to mow your lawn, cover your hindparts and, yes, wear a seatbelt. So you’re mad at government and your job for doing what they’ve always done.

But the rest of us, we’re mad at you. Because this thing could have been over by now, and you’re the reason it isn’t.

That’s why we were glad President Biden stopped asking nicely, started requiring vaccinations everywhere he had power to do so. We were also glad when employers followed suit. And if that’s a problem for you, then, yes, goodbye, sayonara, auf wiedersehen, adios and adieu. We’ll miss you, to be sure. But you’re asking us to choose between your petulance and our lives.

And that’s really no choice at all.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a columnist for the Miami Herald, 3511 NW 91st Ave., Miami, Fla., 33172. Readers may contact him via email at lpitts@miamiherald.com.

(36) comments

TwoDawgs56

Leonard, you are just a leftist hack who spews liberal propaganda. But since you’re such a medical expert, could you please explain how approximately 75% of Israelis are vaccinated yet they are seeing a spike in cases? Or explain how the Cleveland Clinic has continued to state that previously infected persons have a greater immunity than those vaccinated? And how is it that medical professionals who have been on the front lines fighting this awful disease now have to be vaccinated or face termination? Or how Illegal Immigrants (aka border criminals) can enter our country and travel to who knows where, but Americans must be vaccinated or face severe consequences. But when one hears Clueless Joe talk about build back better, this is his plan to collapse the economic and rebuild it into a socialist utopia. Google “Cloward-Piven.”

Awteam2021

Are you suggesting medical centers, retirement homes, healthcare institutions should allow a bunch of ‘Typhoid Marys’ running around their facilities?

Piedmontgardener

Actually, he's a very clear eyed man. And called you out, 100% on who you are - a special human who has no responsibilities to others. Deal with it. Two Dawg.

veritas

I support Covid vaccination and am about to get my third jab. That said, every time I read a column by this sanctimonious, mean spirited, snotty Pitts character, I want to play Dick Cheney to his Patrick Leahy.

public-redux

Tis a shame that you find it so difficult to focus on ideas rather than emotions.

veritas

Oh, Jeeze. I didn't intend to incur pr's cold eyed scorn. But then, that's not difficult to do. Actually, I thought I employed both "ideas" (science, vaxing is good) and "emotion"(Pitts is a jerk). And then there's that sanctimony stuff, which runs rampant herein.

jsklinelga

veritas

Surprise you even read or acknowledge those comments. Quintessential troll thriving on negativity.

public-redux

Thumbs up for the snarky version of the Messiah’s name on International Blasphemy Rights Day!

public-redux

nelga, By expressing surprise you are acknowledging that something in your prior thinking was amiss. I trust that you have changed that which was in error.

Awteam2021

“I support Covid vaccination and am about to get my third jab”… but the columnist is being “sanctimonious”. “Squabbles over symbols are more common than disagreements over substance, and the influence of various interest groups matters more than the strength of any argument.” ~ Tyler Cowen , professor of economics at George Mason University and Bloomberg columnist. His column is in today’s FNP.

V

Your comments reveal so much about you and your Intransigent life. 3rd jab.....Also I didn't read the column the same way as you, I saw nothing sanctimonious, mean spirited, nor snotty? I saw truth.....I know you also saw the truth, because of your reaction. You call yourself Veritas, so if anyone sees the truth it's you Veritas right? The truth will set you free from your Intransigent life....just sayin.

NewMarketParent

Just remember all of these accounts coming in here with constantly shifting reasons to support their own selfish $h177yness. They are throwing spaghetti and hoping that something will stick.

wran

So, a lot of the workers the country was haling as heroes a few months ago are now public enemies? There are lots of nurses and hospital workers who worked hard during the early days of covid that don't want to get a vaccine for various reasons, many of them have natural immunity from contracting covid in their work. I read that NYC hospitals are going to fire so many nurses that the governor has stated she is going to have to use the NY National Guard to staff hospitals.

NewMarketParent

@wran

There is no such thing as herd immunity with a virus that is evolving. There is a reason why it is suggested that you get a flu shot every year:

  1. So you don't kill your neighbor when you get flu
  2. You don't die because you don't get flu
  3. You don't become a host for the next flu variant

Also, if you don't believe in getting a vaccine that 3.5 billion people have taken without issue, you obviously don't believe in the public good and you are no hero.

You can take that martyr bull$h17 and take a hike.

threecents

The other day I was listening to Bradley Beal of the Wizards explain why he chose not to get vaccinated. He pointed out that many vaccinated people get infected, which is especially true with the Delta Variant, but he did not seem to understand the fact that the vaccines reduce viral load, thus reducing the likelihood that an infected person will transmit the virus to others. Beal actually had Covid during the Olympics, which is why he did not play. CDC guidance is that people should generally get vaccinated, even if they have had the disease. It angers me that so many people refuse to believe experts nowadays.

veritas

OK all you non-vaxxers, now you went and did it. You *issed off three! This does not reflect well on your character and will definitely become a part of your Permanent Record.

Awteam2021

Veritas, the anti-vaxxers are the ones ‘kicking and screaming’, ‘spitting up their animal cookies’. I’m done with their stupidity. You aren’t?🤷‍♂️

threecents

Major Winchester just likes to hear himself talk.

jsklinelga

wran

Interesting reading your post then NMP's reply. He has no comprehension of your point. Some studies have shown that natural immunity is actually a stronger more effective guard than two shots of the Pfizer vaccine. I am not an anti'vaxxer but I understand some others position. But what is crystal clear is the intent to place blame on the anti-vaxxers for the delta surge instead of the real cause. Blame others seems to be the modus operandi for the current administration.

gabrielshorn2013

I don't know where you saw that, jsk. Studies have shown just the opposite:

https://www.nebraskamed.com/COVID/covid-19-studies-natural-immunity-versus-vaccination

https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0806-vaccination-protection.html

The overwhelming majority of those hospitalized or dead are the unvaccinated.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/09/10/moderna-most-effective-covid-vaccine-studies/

public-redux

Perhaps he saw it in the same place he gets “the real story”. As in:

“They were able to fool some for awhile that it was the anti-vaxxers that spurred the spread of the delta variant. But the myriad of mistakes are so egregious that the seemingly impenetrable deflector shields of the MSM are being withdrawn and the real story is coming to light.”

https://www.fredericknewspost.com/opinion/letter_to_editor/message-to-president-biden-come-on-man/article_bb76d47b-a640-5c69-8afc-c2d8cf5da171.html

I did ask where he gets the real story but I wasn’t favored with a reply.

jsklinelga

Gabe,

Studies abound. After considering 3c comment about viral load (made sense) I started to research, On the first site, Web.MD, this was the first summation concerning viral loads: "Doctors aren’t sure. Some studies seem to show that it does, but others seem to show less of an effect." Studies abound. i reported on a study out of Israel.

But that being said I have known many people who had Covid with minor effects. And since their contraction they have a natural immunity. Getting the vaccine is not a top priority. Especially one unapproved/

Are they endangering others? Maybe so, maybe not. It is a shame the CDC has lost public trust. It has become political, which I say again is truly a shame.

This very day my daughter's 57 year old mother-in-law will most likely die from Covid. Heart breaking. But in her mind it was a political choice. What is truly heartbreaking is that such a political choice exist. In her mind supporting Biden or the liberal progressives' is as if supporting the devil. Personally I am not as zealous in that persuasion but I do hold Biden's horrendous policies primarily responsible for the thousands of deaths per week.

Awteam2021

Hello, the FDA has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. If you been infected by covid and haven’t been vaccinated, it’s a known fact that your immune system isn’t any more capable without the vaccine.

The purpose of the vaccine is to mitigate the effect of the virus on your vital organs. Having had Covid doesn’t inoculate you. The COVID-19 vaccines works with your body's natural defenses to safely develop protection (immunity) to serious effects.

gabrielshorn2013

Great column. To all the folks that are just being stupid about getting a vaccine:

Au revoir, auf wiedersehen

You won't see another morning

You won't see another evening

Good night

Buenos noches o senor

Senorita see ya later

Buenos noches

Bye bye

There are many here among us

Who feel that life is a joke

And for you we sing this final song

For you there is no hope

- Rick Nielsen "Auf Wiedersehen"

TomWheatley

Stolen from Bob Dylan?

No reason to get excited

The thief, he kindly spoke

There are many here among us

Who feel that life is but a joke

But, uh, but you and I, we've been through that

And this is not our fate

So let us stop talkin' falsely now

The hour's getting late, hey

threecents

I wondered that too.

Riptide262

[thumbup] Well said!

Dwasserba

“But the rest of us, we’re mad at you. Because this thing could have been over by now, and you’re the reason it isn’t.” YEAH 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Greg F

I think we need to change it from Darwin Award to the Pig-Headed Idiot Award. Either way, they deserve it when (not if) COVID gets them. Even if it doens't kill you, it can cause disabilities both short and long term...and a mountain of hospital bills. You can pass it on to someone who will also have those results. I feel zero pity for anyone who gets COVID and anything goes wrong that did not take the shot who could have. Stop being stupid.

NewMarketParent

@Greg F

The new name has become the Herman Cain Awards ™ (HCA). If the stupids want to keep stupiding and thinning out the ranks, than I feel like that is what is destined to happen. The rest of us will need to look out for ourselves and avoid the stupids like the plague because they are.

phydeaux994

But unfortunately, millions don’t have that choice. Their parents make it for them.

Dwasserba

[thumbup]Greg and stop taking up hospital beds and cramming the ER so that you have to worry about loved ones with appendicitis, accidents, heart attack, stroke, allergic reactions, you know, THINGS THEY CANNOT CONTROL

frankiemeadows

[thumbup] Saying what needs to be said! Awesome article!

gary4books

Adios!

bnick467

Excellent article. Couldn't have said it better myself.

Grammy32

[thumbup]

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