Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

A 1960s pop culture reference and our current moment.

Dealing with the vaccine refusniks is not so new (via a story I stumbled upon on FB):

Given our current context, the clip is not very funny insofar as there have been plenty of Rafe’s who have died the exact kind of martyr’s death Andy describes, but to insufficient effect.

I would also note this clip, which sounds far too familiar (but the contemporary version is all the worse since knowledge of medicine is more widespread these days).

Via The News and Observer: Maybe we should change how we talk to Mayberry about the COVID vaccine

FILED UNDER: Health, Humor, Popular Culture, US Politics, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. CSK says:

    Two big differences between then and now are that:

    1. The refusniks are conspiracy-addled.
    2. They all claim to have “done the research.”

    Of course, “conspiracy-addled” and “done the research” are probably one and the same.

  2. steve says:

    Was re-reading polio vaccine history. It was a much less deadly disease than Covid. In its worst years it killed about 6000 and a bad year 2000-3000 deaths. There were 57,000 recorded cases in its worst year. Of course most cases were asymptomatic. Next was an isolated viral menengitis. Paralytic polio was actually pretty uncommon. Not unlike covid the acute cases that resulted in death early required that the pt be ventilated. Where they differed was the very visible partial paralysis that could persist well after the acute stage. Some covid pts have needed lung transplants but it looks like the majority of long term covid issues, respiratory and kidney as examples, arent going to be as visible as someone wearing braces. Even with dialysis you do that in private.

    I am old enough to remember the polio vaccines coming out and my parents and grandparents being very excited. Long lines to get the vaccines. What I had forgotten was that evenwihti polio there were anti-vaxxers, but on a much smaller scale. It was not driven by politics for the most part. A lot of it was rural.


  3. CSK says:

    Photos of kids lying in iron lungs really terrified me as a kid.

  4. gVOR08 says:

    IIRC United Airlines announced a vaccine mandate. Of 60,000 employees apparently 600 threatened to quit, but when push came to shove, maybe 300 will. That’s a 99.5% vaxx rate. Talking to these people doesn’t seem to work. Mandates do.

  5. Mister Bluster says:

    Good ole’ Sherrif Taylor. Years after his stint in Mayberry I saw Andy Griffith’s first film A Face in the Crowd (1957) with Lee Remick (also her film debut) and Patricia Neal.
    Griffith’s character “Lonesome” Rhodes was a country singer who made it big on the TV. Turned out to be quite the prick.