I have some thoughts on the miraculous lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines. But first a little bit about the greatest baseball player in the world, Mike Trout.
If the rest of Mike Trout’s career matches his first decade, he could finish as the baseball GOAT. His career on-base percentage is .419, and he already has 310 homers in only his age 29 season. Trout’s as good a hitter as you’ve ever seen.
Think of COVID-19 as a batter in the box and your body as a baseball team on defense. If you’re unvaccinated, COVID-19 is Mike Trout with an Old Hickory and your body is a batting practice fastball.
With a Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccine, that COVID-19 batter you need to strike out transforms from Trout into a typical pitcher. Pitchers are the worst hitters on baseball teams (Shohei Ohtani excepted).
Sure, a pitcher batting could get a hit! Overall, National League pitchers batted .131 in 2019.
It’s a lot less likely than Trout hitting a bomb. Yes, you could still catch the novel coronavirus after vaccination. But it’s far less likely! And even if you do contract it, you almost certainly will not get hospitalized or die.
Without vaccination, your body is facing a lineup of nine Mike Trouts. Sure, pitchers get Trout out six in 10 times, just like lucky you, Mr. MAGA Hat, like to brag that you walk around Walmart unvaxxed and unmasked and haven’t yet caught the ’Rona. But try going through a lineup of nine Mike Trouts over nine innings without giving up a crap ton of runs.
Get that vaccine, however, and your baseball defense body is now facing nine Bartolo Colons. Sure, Bartolo could get a hit, just like a vaxxed person could catch the coronavirus. But nine Bartolos batting .084 (his career mark) over the course of a full 162 game season of nine inning games will score very few runs.
The technically true but trite phrase “You can still catch and spread it if you’re vaxxed” is as rooted in ignorance as the belief that it doesn’t matter if the opposing baseball team is sending up Mike Trout or Bartolo Colon to bat. Despite some breakthrough cases, COVID-19 has become — as President Joe Biden rightly said — a “pandemic of the unvaccinated,” a plague for those begging for the freedom to die alone on a ventilator.