Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: Strange Case of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates

Aditi Bhargava
7 min readAug 2, 2021

Ironically, the numbers of breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 symptoms in fully vaccinated people are on the rise. But despite increases in numbers of cases in both vaccinated and unvaccinated, the numbers of deaths are at all-time low. Yet, instead of taking a pause and re-evaluating data from all angles, calls for vaccination mandate have gotten louder. These calls for COVID-19 vaccine mandates have revealed a side of a block of people that is very akin to the strange case of Jekyll and Hyde by R.L. Stevenson.

Image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division-poster adaptation.

In the last couple of months, many main stream media outlets have published Opinion pieces about the unvaccinated. To label and judge all unvaccinated as anti-vaxxers is puzzling. There is a group of people who for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated. And then there are some experts, very well familiar with all aspects of the science behind virus and vaccines in the community, who are genuinely concerned about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, especially in children, healthy adults, and question the necessity to vaccinate people who have recovered from natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. To brush aside all these very valid concerns and not even engage in a conversation and scientific discussion, is puzzling, to say the least.

The other day, in a town hall, President Biden said “if you’re not vaccinated, you’re not nearly as smart as I thought you were.” This kind of view is emboldening the folks to hide behind the vaccine mandate to belittle and shame the unvaccinated. It is well known from pioneering studies that vaccinations do not reduce infection prevalence.

Here is a sample of headlines published in mainstream media that should ring alarm bells for our nation and the society:

● “Anthony Fauci Tells Anti-Vaxxers to Sit Down and STFU as COVID Cases Surge” (Vanity Fair, July 19)

● “Ex-Surgeon General: People ‘Are Dying’ Because FDA Hasn’t Fully Approved A Covid-19 Vaccine” (Forbes, July 6)

● “VAX OR AXE — Unvaccinated health workers are ‘unethical and appalling’ — experts want mandates” (Ars Technica, July 14)

● “COVID-19 cases surge in L.A. county, fueled by ‘enormously selfish’ unvaccinated” (LA Times, July 13)

Aditi Bhargava

Dr. Aditi Bhargava is a molecular neuroendocrinologist with research focus on sex differences in stress biology and immunology.