Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Aaron Rodgers, Covid-19, Personal Responsibility, and You: A Sunday Thoughts Post

with 15 comments

Folks, if you are a sports fan — or even if you’re not — and you live in the United States, you’re probably aware of the foofaraw around Aaron Rodgers. (I do like that word, foofaraw. Anyway, I digress.) He said when he reported to the Packers in August that he had been “immunized” against Covid-19, but he hadn’t actually been vaccinated. Instead, he had some sort of holistic treatment (also known as a homeopathic treatment) meant to raise his overall antibody count.

A few weeks ago, his team, the Green Bay Packers (the Wisconsin state-wide team, for lack of a better term; the Packers are also one of the most recognizable American football teams in the world), had a couple of their best wide receivers out due to Covid-19. One, Davante Adams, was vaccinated. The other, Allen Lazard, was not.

I say all this because we learned, at that time, that NFL players are treated differently depending on whether they’ve been vaccinated or not. Lazard had to miss a minimum amount of time, and could not be tested until that minimum time (ten days, I think) had passed, even though he was only listed as a “close contact” of Davante Adams and didn’t directly have Covid at the time. Whereas Adams, once he tested negative for Covid twice, would’ve been eligible to play. (There also was a scheduling hiccup where the Packers had an especially short week in that they were the Thursday night game of the week, which did not help anything. I mention this for completion/emendation more than anything else.)

So, this past week, Rodgers himself tested positive for Covid-19. Because he is not vaxxed, he has to sit out a minimum of ten days. This is due to an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA (player’s association). At that point, if he tests negative, he’ll be all right to play again.

In the meantime, he’s had the monoclonal antibodies. (He said this on a 45-minute long talk show appearance.) He also took the controversial drug ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites, including some roundworm infections. There has been no proven benefit to ivermectin as of this writing with regards to Covid, but some swear by it.

Now, do I like it that Rodgers took ivermectin? No, I don’t. I think taking ivermectin for Covid is silly and stupid.

But it’s his life. His body. His choice. His responsibility.

Where I get more frustrated with Rodgers is that in not getting vaxxed, but saying he was (i.e., “immunized”), he skirted the truth. He plays a team sport where all 53 guys on the team are in close proximity during practices and games. Not being vaccinated meant he could spread Covid more easily than a vaxxed person (even though — and I know someone’s going to think of this — it certainly is possible for a vaccinated person to spread Covid also with some of the variants. The trick is, they should not be spreading as virulent of a variant. Try to say that five times fast. It’s not easy. But again, I digress.)

I think “your choice, your responsibility” ends when you can conceivably hurt someone else — a loved one, a personal friend, a co-worker — due to being unvaccinated.

Now, Rodgers is going to be protected from Covid for a time due to the monoclonal antibodies. He should not get it again for several months. By that time, if he wishes, he can get one of the easily available Covid shots. (He said he’s allergic to two, the Pfizer and Moderna.) The Johnson and Johnson shot was not available for a week or ten days in the summer, so that apparently unnerved Rodgers. (No one, yet, has asked Rodgers, who has plenty of money as he’s a multimillionaire, why he didn’t just hop on a plane to the UK and get the AstroZeneca vax that’s in use over there.)

I still think “tempest in a tea cup” here, for the most part, because Rodgers is a sports star. While he’s of a more intellectual bent than many football players, he’s still not a nuclear physicist. Nor is he a doctor, much less an infectious disease specialist.

What he is, as I think he’d admit, is an intelligent layman.

I think he did do research. I don’t know why it led him into what to me seems like a blind alley. But his error was more of omission than commission. That doesn’t make it right. But it may remind us all to pause, and think hard about who’s giving us advice about our health.

As Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett put it in a recent press event (my best paraphrase), you pick a health expert to tell you about the virus. You only pick a football expert like Rodgers to either play or explain football.

But I did mention you in the above title, and it’s time to get down to brass tacks.

The upshot, for you, with the Covid-19 vaccines is simple: Who are you around everyday? Are your loved ones immunocompromised? (Maybe they have to do kidney dialysis. Or they’re undergoing cancer treatment.) Can you safely be around them, masked or unmasked, for long periods of time if you haven’t had the vaccine yet? And if you don’t like or trust masks — many don’t, myself included (I wear them, but I definitely don’t like them) — are you willing to bet your loved ones’ lives in this matter?

That’s your basic risk/benefit calculation, right there. And it’s what I considered, myself, before getting my first shot of the Covid vaccine (Team Pfizer, if you must know). I knew I have weird allergies, and I told ’em right off the bat about them.

So if Rodgers is allergic, he has a reason not to get Pfizer and/or Moderna. (If he tried and had an allergic reaction, I mean.) But if he was worried about an allergy, as I was, all he had to do was sit there for a half-hour rather than the standard fifteen minutes after he got the shot, and see how he reacted. I know I did that both times, and I will be doing it again when I get the booster shot soon.

Anyway, what you need to know, this Sunday, is simple:

Make your best choices. Do your research. Be prepared to defend your choices, if need be. (That goes for the entirety of life, not just whether or not you get the Covid-19 vax.)

But don’t obfuscate about it, as the obfuscation in this case is what got Rodgers into trouble in the first place.

And for the love of little green apples, please stop putting sports stars, actors, musicians, and other public figures on pedestals. They’re like anyone else: fallible and mortal.

As we have just seen with Aaron Rodgers.

Written by Barb Caffrey

November 7, 2021 at 3:13 am

15 Responses

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  1. I love the word foofaraw as well! Have never heard it before. Thanks for making me feel a little more sympathetic towards Rodgers. I really, really don’t like the fact that he hid this from his teammates.


    November 9, 2021 at 12:17 am

    • I don’t either, eurobrat. It’s frustrating that an otherwise smart man would’ve done this.

      I guess it just goes to show we all have our blindspots?

      And I’m glad it’s not just me who likes the word foofaraw. 🙂 I think it sounds good and should be used more often. 😀

      Barb Caffrey

      November 9, 2021 at 2:27 am

      • I’ll try to commit myself to using it once in a while 😉


        November 10, 2021 at 7:30 pm

      • Well, that’s one way to get it back into the active vocabulary. 🙂

        Another word I like is “rudesby” (meaning a rude person). I don’t know why that word went by the wayside either, but I’m trying to help it make a comeback. 😉

        Barb Caffrey

        November 11, 2021 at 1:41 pm

      • Oh, I like that one! The world is full of rudesbys right now! That one is going on my list as well.


        November 13, 2021 at 7:09 pm

      • 🙂 It’s definitely time for rudesby to make a comeback. 😀

        Barb Caffrey

        November 14, 2021 at 11:25 pm

  2. That’s a very compact and balanced assessment of a complicated situation Barb.
    I agree he should have advised his teammates what choices he was taking.


    November 9, 2021 at 1:04 pm

    • It is very frustrating, Roger, that he didn’t.

      Another thing that concerns me is this. Why is it that the NFL knew and said nothing? Because they were advised early of this homeopathic treatment Rodgers got, and told him that he was not considered to be vaccinated.

      It’s as if only the public, and maybe Rodgers’ teammates, didn’t know, when the Packers medical staff did know (who else sent in the request for exception?) and of course the NFL knew.

      The fallout really should be occurring on all of them, not just Rodgers.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 10, 2021 at 2:07 am

      • I guess the NFL & The Packers ‘top brass’ thought rocking the boat would be bad for business and flow of money in.
        And they didn’t want to get caught up in the Covid controversary, by attracting the high profile proponents of both sides of the vaccination argument.
        It didn’t work did it?


        November 10, 2021 at 3:41 am

      • No, it didn’t. Instead, what happened was their delayed “day of reckoning” came down like a ton of bricks rather than, say, one brick. (Why am I all of a sudden thinking about Pink Floyd’s song “Another Brick in the Wall?”)

        Barb Caffrey

        November 10, 2021 at 10:05 am

      • Good analogy Barb.
        Funny how songs pop into your head, as I was reading your reply ‘If It Keeps On Raining Levee’s Gonna Break’ came into mine.


        November 10, 2021 at 11:01 am

  3. What I find “interesting” about the push to be “vaccinated” (especially the forcing people to be vaccinated) is that Biden and other Democrats claimed that they didn’t Trust Trump’s Vaccines.

    IE The people now wanting to force people to be vaccinated where Against Those Vaccines when Trump was President. [Sarcastic Grin]

    Note, I got vaccinated because my “Baby Sister” would have whined if I didn’t. Of course, I’ve never had bad reactions to Flu Vaccines and plenty of people who don’t want to be vaccinated have had bad reactions.

    Oh, in many cases the individuals’ doctors have apparently agreed that the individuals shouldn’t take the vaccine.

    But Of Course, The Government Knows Best when Democrats are in control of the Government. [Very Very Big Sarcastic Grin]

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    November 16, 2021 at 1:24 pm

    • PS, I had to have a Colonoscopy after I got vaccinated and The Doctors Still Wanted Me To Be Tested for Covid-19 before the procedure.

      Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      November 16, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      • Yeah, They do that for everything, and to my mind it makes no sense. 😦

        Barb Caffrey

        November 17, 2021 at 9:22 pm

    • Paul, a vaccine is good no matter who the POTUS is. And that’s one of the best things Trump did, as far as I’m concerned…fast-tracking the vaccine development was a good thing.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 17, 2021 at 9:21 pm

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