But you also have to face the consequences of that refusal

Frankly, I don’t give a fuck if you get you the COVID vaccine.

You have a right to not get a vaccine, even if that decision will kill other people. Hopefully, it will kill you before you kill others. But since you’ll probably insist on going to an emergency room and demanding care you no longer deserve because you could have prevented severe illness, you’ll be infecting others no matter what happens to you.

So, actually, I do care if you get a COVID vaccine. Because you’re putting other people’s lives in danger if you don’t.

If you catch COVID, as the virus replicates, it could produce a variant. That’s the way viruses work. As they replicate, they sometimes mutate. The more virus out there, the more chance of mutation.

The current vaccines won’t necessarily protect us against one of the future variants, putting us all in danger once again. Thanks for that.

The vaccines don’t work on all people. But unlike, say, the shingles vaccine that’s about 75 percent effective, the various COVID vaccines are more than 90 percent effective.

Those with compromised immune systems can’t produce antibodies as well as someone with a normal immune system. Those who’ve received a transplant take immunosuppressants that make it more difficult to produce antibodies. And for some reason, those with diabetes are more prone to bad outcomes after contracting COVID-19.

So yeah, no vaccine works on everyone. But if you catch COVID, you may pass it along to people who can’t protect themselves and others even though they tried. Your refusal to protect yourself is a refusal to protect others. You may kill someone.

But, like I said, you have a right to not get vaccinated, and I don’t care if you do or not.

I love the anti-vax argument that “God will protect us.” As a religious person, I agree that God works in mysterious ways — and sometimes not so mysterious. In this case, God helped people work very fast to produce vaccines that protect against the virus. The mystery? Divine prevention rather than divine cure.

Not for me to understand why God worked this way in this case.

Here’s what I think we should do with the free vaccine we have waiting for you: We should give you just one more month to decide if you want to take it. Set an Oct. 1 deadline. Then we should send all the leftover vaccine to poor counties around the world where people are begging for a shot to protect themselves and their families. Protecting the poor is the godly thing to do, after all, and we’ll never bother you about getting a vaccine again.

And what if you do catch COVID? Stay home. Enjoy your illness. Hopefully you’ll recover. Many do. But our healthcare workers have been through enough this year.

Can’t breathe? Sorry. Feel like you’re dying? You just might.

But just as you have the right to not get the vaccine, healthcare workers have the right to prioritize their time and choose who to care for when they’re overburdened.

With a limited number of nurses and doctors available, some may choose to care for people with other illnesses. Because they have a right to choose who to care for, just like you have a choice whether to take a vaccine. Some may decide their time is better spent curing a child with cancer or caring for an elderly person rushed to the ER after a heart attack.

But remember, you have a right to not get a vaccine and to expose others to your virus.

David Taffet is the senior staff writer for Dallas Voice. Opinions expressed here are his own.