You gotta keep ‘em separated, indeed.
On Monday, Offspring drummer Pete Parada announced on Twitter that he won’t be joining the band for its upcoming tour. His explanation, which centered on his medical inability to receive a Covid vaccine, quickly went viral.
In the thread, the 48-year-old explained that he has Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare immune disorder in which a person’s immune system attacks their nerves. Due to his pre-existing condition, Parada has been counseled not to receive a coronavirus vaccine. “Given my personal medical history and the side-effect profile of these jabs,” he said, “my doctor has advised me not to get a shot at this time.”
Parada went on to reveal that because he isn’t able to “comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate,” his band, which he had been a member of for 14 years, decided that “[he was] unsafe to be around” and fired him.
He shared that he has previously contracted Covid and thus may have natural immunity. “I caught the virus over a year ago, it was mild for me,” he said, “so I am confident I’d be able to handle it again, but I’m not so certain I’d survive another post-vaccination round of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which dates back to my childhood and has evolved to be progressively worse over my lifetime. Unfortunately for me, (and my family — who is hoping to keep me around a bit longer) the risks far outweigh the benefits.”
Parada then offered encouragement to others who may be feeling shunned or isolated due to their inability to get the vaccine.
“I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now — knows they’re not entirely alone,” he said, later adding, “While my reason for not getting this jab is medical, I want to make sure I’m not carving out a space that is only big enough for me. I need to state, unequivocally, that I support informed consent — which necessitates choice unburdened by coercion.”
The veteran rocker explained this is why he opposes vaccine mandates and is concerned over government authoritarianism when it comes to private medical decisions:
“I do not find it ethical or wise to allow those with the most power (government, corporations, organizations, employers) to dictate medical procedures to those with the least power.
There are countless folks (like me) for whom these shots carry a greater risk than the virus. Most of us don’t publicly share a private decision we made in careful consideration with our doctors. We know it’s not an easy conversation to unfold.
If it looks like half the population is having a shockingly different reaction to these jabs than was expected — it’s probably because their life experiences have actually been shockingly different, and their reasons range from a conscientious risk/benefit analysis, to the financial inability to take time off work/lack of health care in the event of potential side-effects, to an understandable distrust in a system that has never prioritized the health or well-being of their communities.
I hope we can learn to make room for all the perspectives and fears that are happening currently. Let’s avoid the unfortunate tendency to dominate, dehumanize and shout down at each other. The hesitant population is not a monolithic group. All voices deserve to be heard.”
Parada finished by thanking his fans for understanding why they won’t be seeing him on tour or at upcoming shows. “I deeply appreciate your … support as my family and I find a new way forward,” he said, concluding, “Sending love to everyone who has been impacted by this pandemic, in all the ways lives have been lost and altered.”
Most responses on Twitter supported Parada and expressed displeasure toward the other members of Offspring for their decision to kick him out.
Mocked one Twitter user, “Damn that’s so rock’n’roll… following the establishment line, saying ‘yes’ to ‘the man’, leaving your crew behind.”