Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.


Prompted by a reader’s email this week, is it OK to live life by your normal routines…and why the unvaccinated continue to stay that way?

We received an email this week from an area reader – Bruce – who kindly wrote to ask, “Are you sending the wrong message by promoting sports as if there’s no other priority?”

He continued: “In your recent articles about fall sports and football you make no mention that Covid is still among us, still threatens those who will go to the games without caution, then interact with others and continues the spread.  Wouldn’t it be a good idea to show some balance and encourage people that it’s OK to do the responsible thing and get the shot?”

Bruce, I think we could do that ’round the clock and people wouldn’t pay a bit of attention.

They already do it on TV and radio…and people don’t pay a bit of attention.

They cry to the four winds that the Delta variant is more transmissable and more deadly than the original, and yet…those who choose to live life on their own terms turn a deaf ear.

We badger people – baptize them in guilt – that it’s not about you, it’s about the person you might infect. And yet, people choose to live on their terms while allowing those who live in fear to live on theirs.

We’ve trotted out performers, athletes, coaches, and every icon we can think of to encourage people to get the shot…and to no avail to those who choose to trust their own immunity.

We preach science to people and think they’re stupid for not believing, but at the same time ignore that part of science called ‘natural immunity’. We all came with an internal system for fighting off disease, but there is no respect, or argument, for that.  The superintendent of Dade County Schools, Alberto Carvalho (Miami, Florida) appeared on a CBS Sunday morning news show and said, “There should be some degree of qualified parental choice”, talking about parents’ decision on vaccinations in schools.  Not a lot, apparently, but some.

Bruce…your question is well-intentioned, welcomed, and deserves consideration. Because like you, I’ve considered myself…why more people don’t want to get ‘the shot’.

The answer lies in the mistrust of politicians, media, and health officials who from day one have sent out one conflicting message after another with those dreadful press conferences. No one trusts anyone, anymore.  Trump, Biden, DeWine, Fauci…they all labor under the same stain of whatever it takes to push an agenda. And Bruce, America is sick of agendas.

Racism, poverty, social justice…Covid and what to do about it are just more stressors to people pursuing their lives, their interests, and their future. What they want is something that relieves that stress – a distraction from all those ‘platforms’ – not something that compounds it.

They turn to sports, and in our market it’s high school sports, because it’s the one category of people that even scientific numbers say is safe. Regardless of infection, the overwhelming percentage of kids breeze through it to establish antibodies and live on, like they’ve done for years with measles, chicken pox, and the flu.

But at the root of all this is the matter of trust. People DO NOT trust politicians, the networks, and people whose job it is to sway public opinion when so much of the public suspects lies, even some physicians.  It’s hard to trust when people understand that the vaccines aren’t fully approved by the FDA. They’re smart enough to be cautious, even if others think they’re selfish.

Too many conflicting opinions, and too many conflicting priorities (as you say) coming out of Washington – the economy, the rise in gas prices, the border, and undocumented migrants. Trust…Bruce, this is the issue. We get the government we deserve, and now that government is reaping what it’s sown.

In the meantime, we feel no guilt for writing, or promoting, sports.  I wouldn’t call it prioritizing.  Science, if you check, is a two-sided coin, and it’s worth noting that on one side of the quarter on my desk there’s a stamp depicting the state of New York, where people have suffered under the Covid policies.

On the other side of that coin it still reads ‘In God We Trust’, right across from the embossment of Jefferson and the word ‘Liberty’.

If you want to know why people don’t get the shots you might want to consider the currency.

And who those people really trust.