On the January 1 edition of their "More Nights With Deth" Internet broadcast, MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson and his trusty sidekick Thom Hazaert discussed and previewed their plans for the New Year, plus nerded out with special guests, including rock photographer and VFX guru Neil A. Lim Sang, whose IMDB reads like a pop culture "greatest hits," with credits including "The Mandalorian", "The Hulk", "Star Wars" and "Transformers".
Speaking about some people's reluctance to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Ellefson said (see video below): "The reality of it is the world is not gonna open up until this goes away. I know my daughter is probably gonna get [the vaccine]; she's in the nursing field now, so she's kind of one of the frontline workers. And there's gonna be certain people that are just gonna have to do it. The reality of it is we aren't just gonna lock down until it disappears — we're just not; it's not how it's gona be. So the only other option is get the vaccine. That is really the reality of it; it is just what it is.
"Look, we want the world to open up," he continued. "We all wanna be out rocking. It was fun to watch KISS in Dubai on the Internet [as part of the band's New Year's Eve livestream], but I'd rather go see 'em play here in town. It'd be more fun than watching it on my laptop. So I'm a fan, too. I wanna go see shows; I wanna see my buddies playing. I go out and I support the cause. I buy a t-shirt. I'll even buy tickets once in a while."
Ellefson went on to reveal that one of his uncles in Jackson, Minnesota died a couple of weeks ago from complications due to COVID-19. "And another friend of mine here from Scottsdale [died as well]," he said. "A buddy just called me this afternoon. It was my friend who I was hanging out with last night, and he just said, 'Hey, a friend of ours died.' And I was, like, 'Woah.'
"A year ago, we heard of somebody who died, and we didn't know them," Ellefson continued. "Then it kind of started to come in closer. Then we heard of somebody who knew somebody who had somebody who died. Then we knew of a family or a friend who had someone who died. Now, our own family and inner circle of people are… And look, obviously, I know of dozens of people who have had it and gone through it, and have gotten through it — everything from, 'I felt a little tired' to 'I couldn't smell one day, and I guess that was COVID.' It's been as minor as that.
"It's just one of these weird times. I mean, it is still weird — a year later, we're still here. That's why, to me, changing of the guard, new mandates — thank God that happened, to at least have a chance to try to deal with it differently, because the way it was dealt with… We were on the [MEGADETH-curated] Megacruise [in October 2019], and now we know the thing [the virus] was out there. None of us knew — no one told us — so we were on a cruise ship. And I think Megacruise, I'd like to think, was safe. But we're just seeing that people traveling, moving around the world — an illness can fly around the world literally within about 24 hours, just because of air travel. Back in 1905, that pandemic, they didn't have airplanes moving it around the planet, so you could kind of localize it a little bit."
Americans received just over three million initial doses of coronavirus vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech in the 19 days following first shipments. About 14 million doses have been distributed to states, the CDC reports.
According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, a leading member of the Trump administration's Coronavirus Task Force and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the country will need to reach a 80-85% rate immunity to achieve so-called herd immunity.