Just My Opinion – It’s Worth Taking a Shot

Ten days ago, I buried Rick Claar, my best friend of over 50 years.  I am sure we can all relate, on some level, to how painfully difficult that can be to do.   He was not supposed to die.  Not just yet, anyway.  I did not want to go to the showing.  I did not want to go to the funeral.  I did not want to deliver the eulogy.  But I did.  With the support of my wife and my siblings I was able make it through all three.

The shock and denial of his passing seemed to fade very quickly.  But only because my anger with his death and the main reason for it was banging at my emotional door to let it in.  And now that it’s in, I don’t know when it will be leaving so I can begin to accept it and heal.

Sometime before my friend’s death, he was diagnosed with COVID-19.  He was not vaccinated.  He had made that choice not to be vaccinated.  I knew Rick’s politics, at least on a national level, were conservative.  I knew he voted for and supported Donald Trump. 

But I also knew how much he cared for others and how much he did for so many people.  Rick worked for the Woodmore Local School District for many years and the students and administration loved him.  He was also the Mayor of Elmore and an Elmore Councilman for 18 years prior to that.  Everything he did was for the students, staff and faculty at Woodmore and for the citizens of the Village of Elmore.  They were his life and he loved being there and working for them.

Rick had so much more to do, so much more to give, and more great plans to make Elmore a great place to live and raise a family and Woodmore a school to receive a great education.  That is why it is so hard to understand why he chose not to protect himself, to stay healthy so he could continue to serve his school and his community.  It does not make sense to me and makes me very angry.  Very sad, of course, but still so angry.

I live in Fulton County which is a heavily leaning conservative/Republican/red county in the red state of Ohio.  The latest statistics show Fulton County approximately 50% of the population having received the first dose of the COVID vaccine.  This is over 10% less than the state average and over 20% less than the national average.

The unvaccinated justify their choice in many ways.  The vaccines are unproven, it violates my freedom of choice, it goes against my religion, I’ve already been infected and survived, I don ‘t have time.  And the more outlandish reasons/excuses.  It’s all about government control, it contains a tracking chip, it doesn’t align with my politics. it’s all just a big hoax pushed mainly by big pharma.  The list goes on and on.

As we head into the holiday season and get together with friends and loved ones, I ask all that are unvaccinated to please reconsider your choice.  The pandemic is far from over. Look at those friends and family members when you are with them and imagine you not being there for them.  I know you do not want contract this virus and you do not want to infect anyone else.  You do not want to get sick.  You do not want to die too young.  You do not want to burden your family with having to arrange your funeral.  And trust me on this.  You do not want your best friend to give your eulogy too soon.


  • Thank you for your wonderful outpouring of your heart


  • Bill, I sat down to write a response on FB to a former student of mine who praised his non-vaccinated status. Twenty-six people liked his post with no disagreement. That’s where I came in. As an old Bulldog (1960), I read your post about Rick Claar. You were spot on with my frustration and I couldn’t say it better than you did. Of course, you don’t need to convince me. I’m curious and hopeful your post (which I passed on) will move someone to get vaccinated. It’s worth a shot.


  • I truly believe this all government bs. I believe I have also had it and survived.


  • Can you make this sharable?


  • Thank you. So we’ll said!!!


  • I’m sorry for your loss. I’m also sorry your friend chose to not be protected. Thank you for your post. Maybe your words will make someone reconsider and become vaccinated.


  • So very sad, I do believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe in the science behind this vaccine. I plan on being around for a very long time and staying as healthy as possible, I only wish more people would care as much!


  • I am so very sorry for your loss. We lost an unvaccinated friend also and I do not believe he was a conservative or Trump supporter. I don’t understand it being a political stand although I am sure it may be for some. My medical friends say to follow the science and I prefer that to making generalities. Until we all get on board, I don’t think much will change. I am vaccinated and had my booster and now have Co-vid but at least I will not be burdening the hospital system for care and I should survive and I will isolate and not spread the virus. Again, I am sorry for the loss of such a vital, caring and contributing community person and I hope we will all find a healthier new year in 2022 where we can find ways to agree about how to have a better world for all.


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