In praise of our miracle of a vaccine
In the midst of the current pandemic two major lessons are being lost in the rhetoric of misinformation and politicalization of a public health dilemma. The first is the realization of how dangerous a virus can be. Being simply a “package” of genetic material that does nothing more than borrow the genetic machinery of a host cell to replicate itself, it seems benign. But a virus that proves easily transmittable and uses vulnerable human cells as its host, has the power to bring entire civilizations to their knees — it is nothing to trifle with.
Second, the real heroes here are the molecular geneticists and the biochemists who, through many years of diligent study have learned the sophisticated intricacies of the genetic basis of life. And they have used this information to design a vaccine that instructs the body to create cells that resemble the virus sufficiently to teach our immune systems to recognize and destroy the virus. The work they have done to create this cure is beyond genius.
It begs the question of why people are turning their backs on this incredible miracle of modern medicine and choosing instead to listen to people who, without any basis or background in knowledge, are trying to inhibit any intelligent means of ridding ourselves of this scourge. If the polio vaccine had received the same vilification in public discourse that disease would probably still be with us.
— Arlyn Beneke, Durham