Cayucos anti-vaxxer stands his ground

April 30, 2021

Dell Franklin

Editor’s Note: The following series, “Life in Radically Gentrifying Cayucos by the Sea,” to be posted biweekly includes the notes, thoughts, and opinions of an original American voice: author Dell Franklin. 

Franklin’s memoir, “Life On The Mississippi, 1969,” is currently on Amazon.


I ran into a friend of mine in the south parking lot beside Ruddell’s Smoke House. He’s the kind of friend you see in town and say hello to and exchange impersonal pleasantries, not a close friend who knows what you’re thinking or believe in, but the exchanges are always warm and friendly, never negative or provocative. He is a person who picks up loose trash after busy weekends and has helped out the homeless folks living in their cars.

He has been up against it, and he remembers and cares. He sports a wealth of tattoos of symbols that reaffirm his happiness and peace of mind.

I was parked late in the afternoon and watching goings-on along the beach and realized his van was parked one car space over from mine. He was lounging in the back, side doors open, listening to country western music. When he spotted me he came over and asked how I was doing, and I said fine and asked how he was doing, and he said great and I told him I felt a great relief because I’d just gotten the final dose of the Covid vaccine. His face changed and he said, with surprising conviction, “They’re not making me take that shot.”

“Why not?” I asked. “It was a pretty easy process.”

“The governments not telling me what to do,” he maintained.

“The governments not telling you what to do,” I insisted. “They’re urging you to get the shot so you stay healthy and don’t spread the Covid around.”

“It’s not that big a deal,” he said. “I’m 57. I’m healthy. It’s just the flu.”

I told him it wasn’t just the flu, that it had killed ten times more people than the normal flu, and sometimes the aftereffects lasted for months or didn’t go away.

He shrugged. “I could get killed driving down the highway, too, so what’s the difference?”

I’d heard this argument before. It made no sense. “The difference is, you get the shot, and eliminate one more way of biting the dust. Why take a chance if you don’t have to?”

“I’m not gonna get it,” he insisted. “I never wear a mask out here on the beach and I’ve never got it. I wear my mask when I go inside places, because I have to. I’m not gonna get the shot, and I’m not givin’ up my freedom and have the government tell me what to do.”

“How are you giving up your freedom?” I asked.

“They’re making me do something I refuse to do. I have a right not to take a shot if I don’t want it or trust it.”

“It’s been proven by the CDC that it’s trustworthy.”

“I don’t trust the CDC either. They’re just like the government.”

Well, now I patiently explained how the government backed the Salk vaccine for polio, and saved lives. I added that government-sponsored vaccines for cholera and the bubonic plague were issued while I was in the army during the Vietnam War, as well as small pox and others.

“I’m not getting the goddam shot!” he exclaimed, looking wroth, backing away from my car window.

A woman around his age one car over yelled out, “Right! We don’t have to get the goddam shot! I’m not!

Screw the goddam shot!”

I didn’t want a person I’d never had a misunderstanding with get cross with me, so I said, “I got the shot because I’m old and vulnerable and had cancer. But also because if I do get the Covid, I won’t spread it and kill one of my old fogey friends. And that’s why, as a young person, I’d get it, too.”

Well, he was more than perturbed now and went back to his van and sprawled out in the back and picked up a tall boy of Bud and took a huge restorative quaff and turned up the country western loud enough to drown me out no matter how loud I yelled at him and started singing along with the song, a sad, cloying tale of heartbreak and sorrow.

I rolled my window up and thought to myself, “Even if the Covid someday passes into history, I’m still wearing a mask when I go inside businesses and I might continue to do this for the rest of my life.”

Maybe the day will come when I’m the only person in a market or drugstore or bank or doctor’s office or movie theater or any kind of inside venue with a mask. When they ask me why I’m still wearing a mask, I’ll tell them the odds are slimmer than ever that I’ll catch any kind of flu or cold or the myriad diseases multiplying in our world because we have too many people and we’re out of control and civilization is becoming more and more deranged and unhealthy despite all the drugs and cures we’ve created since the beginning of time.

I gazed over at my anti-vaxxer friend still moving to the music and guzzling his beer, totally comfortable in what he was doing, happy, I suppose, and a very good guy who means no harm to anyone, but at the moment, peeved at my intrusion into his freedom.

Truth is, I wanted to tell him that people who refuse to get a shot—to save their own lives as well as others, because of their claim it infringes on their freedom–act as selfish, ignorant, corrosive and destructive forces in our already fractured society.

But what good would it do?


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Where are all the “My body my choice” folks at these days???

Michael Stove

They are still here. No one will force you to get it. But we reserve the right to judge you accordingly.


Judge much?


They’re the same ones whose favorite misquoted Bible verse is “do not judge”, yet they are the first to judge. They’re so settled into their judgmental lives, supported by irrational thought, that they don’t even realize that by saying,”don’t judge me”, they are judging you.

Adam Trask

Funny how Republicans and right wingers are avoiding the vaccination—screaming “I have my freedoms” and “the government isn’t going to tell my what to do,” but would use that same government to deny the rights of women to make a choice about abortion.

But, of course, hypocrisy has always run deep on the right.


I suggest people re-evaluate their demonization of others. Refusing one type of shot doesn’t make you an “anti-vaxxer”, just because the news says it does. By doing this, you are moving the goalposts from where they used to be, and engaging in ad hominem. Two logical fallacies. This entire article is one big appeal to emotion. Not once did the author provide any argument or counter-argument. Well I guess he did argue that the CDC “proved it’s trustworthy”, which makes me wonder why other drugs were NOT considered trustworthy before completing even phase 1 of 3 of testing. By the author’s own admission, drug testing guidelines are completely pointless. Maybe he is right, I don’t know, but he should really make a better argument than simply appealing to emotion.

Michael Stove

“I got the shot because I’m old and vulnerable and had cancer. But also because if I do get the Covid, I won’t spread it and kill one of my old fogey friends. And that’s why, as a young person, I’d get it, too.”

This is all factual information backed up by science. There was no emotion. He is taking a very factual stance.

Camus Redux

Why six feet and not five feet? Or seven feet?


I received the shot however I believe people have a choice. We shouldn’t shame people for taking it or or not taking it. What happened to … My body, My rights?

Michael Stove

It is your body, and it is your right to do whatever you want with it. We just have the right to judge you for your decision, just like those who judge people who get abortions.

Actions have consequences in our society.

Darrell Queen

Who you and some other Karen’s?

Camus Redux

I think they’re talking about abortion and unwanted pregnancy Last I heard, neither one was capable of killing the guy standing next to you by breathing on him.


No, but certainly capable of killing the person inside them that many would love and respect in the futrure.


The Covid shot must work great on Flu also as you don’t hear of anyone getting the flu now as it’s all CHINA Covid. !! Biden !! so the whole world should be hammering them for killing people and ruining the world economy

Camus Redux

Masks and distancing have worked great on the flu. It’s way down.


Fewer people now in hospitals with Covid than hospitalizations due to flu in 2016.


Are you sure? Many deaths have been with the elderly, people with underlying conditions and people who stayed home and quarantined. I have many family and friends who ignored masks, quarantining and isolation as much as possible and we have not had one single case. We all took precautions to exercise, get fresh air and sunlight and eat well. Not one case.


The CCP should be held accountable for what they have done to civilization but my hopes for that were dashed with the last election.


Pulling up a chair, got my popcorn, gonna enjoy the anti-vaxxer – the Government is out to control you comments…let them rip people (oh yeah, I welcome the downvotes)…LOL…extra points for 5G and micro chipping comments


That’s exactly what WE are doing …watching YOU! Tick tock


You won’t be the only one left wearing a mask, Dell. I’ll be right there beside you (in spirit if not in fact) wearing mine for exactly the same reasons as yours. Nobody using “taking of rights” as a reason to not take the vaccine has been able to convince me that it is anything like a taking of rights, and more the expression of dogma, blind avoidance of fact, and ultimately, selfishness.


Well, if you get vaccinated why then would you still wear a mask? Unless of course you are hanging with unvaccinated folks.

Look, either you believe in the efficacy of vaccines or you don’t. It’s a choice and you are free to make it. If you do believe in vaccines, I suggest that clinging to mask wearing has become a symbol or form of political or ideological expression as doing so is not based on science and CDC guidelines.


The pressure is showing up everywhere. It’s the new religion


No thanks! Never getting it!

Camus Redux

Oh, you’re getting it. If we have to tie you down and — just kidding. You’re not that important and neither are your rights. In the end there are probably going to be enough of us to end this thing without your help. We’ll do the heavy lifting – you hide and protect your guns and your veins and your Merry Christmas and your right to overthrow democracy when elections don’t go your way.


Rights not important Camus? Spoken like a true socialist tyrant.

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