FARGO — I am vaccinated against COVID-19 and I am mad.
I am not alone.
I am mad because I am among the 70% of American adults who decided to get jabbed — two Moderna shots, in my case — as quickly as I was allowed. This followed more than a year of following COVID-19 protocols mostly the best I could. I was not perfect.
But from March 2020 to May 2021, two weeks after my second shot, about the only time I was indoors for extended periods was at Target and Hornbacher's. I covered some North Dakota State football games, but wore a mask and followed distancing protocols.
When asked to wear a mask, I did.
When asked to work from home, I did.
When asked to avoid large indoor gatherings, I did.
When asked to stay away from elderly people, like my 93-year-old mother, I did.
When asked to stay out of bars and restaurants, I did.
My wife and daughter also sacrificed, staying mostly at home for months, in an attempt to do what was asked of them. The idea was, and we talked about this as a family, to do the right things in an effort to get back to "normal" as quickly as possible.
We did what was asked of us, and we did it willingly. So did millions of others.
We believed Americans would gladly do the same in the "we're all in this together" spirit.
Color us naïve.
Here we are, almost six months after the vaccines first rolled out, and we're still having to deal with mask mandates, fights at school board meetings, postponement of events and worry over schoolchildren getting COVID-19. Everything we were dealing with months ago.
We're supposed to be past this point. We should be past this point. We should have clear sailing heading into fall.
Instead, 30% of America is holding us hostage.
The idiot 30%.
The 30% that won't get vaccinated, that fights mask mandates, that makes life miserable for local school boards, that acts like 7-year-olds who don't get their way. All while croaking nonsense about freedom and liberty.
My family and myself did what society asked us to do for the greater good. Our reward? A never-ending pandemic needlessly extended for months because 30% of Americans are selfish clods.
A minority that is ill-informed, or uninformed altogether, and touts conspiracy theories it reads on Facebook or sees on Fox News is holding back the rest of us from moving forward into normalcy. Almost 200 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That's incredible.
But it's not enough to stop the spread of the delta variant, not enough to to allow us to unshackle ourselves from this pandemic.
Because there are some 80 million eligible people who've thus far refused to be vaccinated, most of whom are making that decision for harebrained reasons.
And so the cycle of COVID-19 continues unnecessarily.
Even though millions of us, 70% and counting, sacrificed. Yet the 30% rule.
That's why I'm mad.
Readers can reach columnist Mike McFeely at email@example.com