When I’m bored, I pop over to Yahoo! to see what news has been posted. I know it isn’t the best place to get accurate or unbiased reports, but I skim through the page anyway. Most of the article titles lately sound like what I used to see in The Enquirer. When I was a kid, The Enquirer was known to be more of a gossip rag than an actual newspaper. Even so, I loved seeing it at the grocery store. While Mom was getting our food on the conveyor belt I’d peek at the wild headlines.
Man, they were wild!
Headlines are meant to grab readers’ attention. One certainly grabbed my attention on the Yahoo! main page last week: How To Deal With Friends Who Won’t Get Vaccinated
I know what I need to do for myself and for my family, so I feel absolutely no pressure when I read stuff like that. I clicked the link, though, to see how others are “dealing with” this situation because curiosity got the best of me.
As I read the very short article, I quickly found two statements that were false:
- Unvaccinated individuals are at a greater risk for contraction [of COVID19] than vaccinated ones.
- Their reasoning [to not get the vaccine] tends to be rooted in emotions rather than science.
A recent news report from the BBC proves that vaccinated individuals can contract the illness, and data being collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) shows that adults are researching vaccine science before making a decision. Their reasons for declining include valid concerns not just about side effects but also because of the newness of the vaccine. Other reasons for saying no are that some just don’t want the vaccine. Some don’t trust the government, and some think they do not need the vaccine. All those important reasons aside, I did agree with this part of that article when the author shared that:
-Your social boundaries must be respected
Yes! This! All day long!
…you can ask that they [the unvaccinated] respect your boundaries, just as you are respecting theirs by not pressuring them to get vaccinated.
Please, if there’s anything this short article can impart, let this be the takeaway – don’t pressure anyone to get a vaccine they don’t want or need.
Most people I know who have not opted for a COVID shot by now aren’t going to get one. You can bully them, bribe them, jeopardize their rights, or call them every awful name under the sun. They are still not going to get the shot. It’s not because they’re not hesitant about it (definition of hesitant from Oxford Language: tentative, unsure, or slow in acting or speaking). It’s because they flat out do not want it.
Their reasons to decline the COVID19 shots are not based on emotions, as the article suggested, but could be based on a current medical condition. It may be because of a previous vaccine experience, either theirs or of someone close to them. Sure, emotions can come into play as they consider the pros and cons, but emotions are not the driving force. They’ve thought this through, like those who were surveyed by KFF, and are not going to be swayed. Several of the commenters responding to that Yahoo! article seemed to agree on that. They were vocal about one more thing – if you got the vaccine, why are you worried that others have not? Does that mean that you, the vaccinated, don’t truly believe that they work?
That does seem to be the $64,000 question.
When I first saw the short article last week, I laughed. Not in a mean way, but I laughed because the push to get everyone vaccinated is everywhere, even in the Lifestyle section of an online newspaper. Before I read it, I did stop and wonder if the article would stoop so low as to call the unvaccinated names. They didn’t, thankfully, but others have threatened them or are rebuking them. Some in office have also offered false information in their quest to vaccinate all.
The recovery rate for COVID19, depending on the source, ranges from 97-99%. The COVID19 vaccine death toll is at 10,991 (16 July 2021) and climbing. Source: Open VAERSThat number may pale in comparison to other COVID19 statistics, but 10,991 reported deaths from experimental vaccines that rolled out only months ago should be raising more eyebrows than it has.
People are worried. Some are worried about COVID19, and some are worried about getting one of the experimental vaccines that may or may not work. People, no matter what’s causing their worry, want answers. Pitting one group against the other will not help. Doing that can, and has, made matters worse. Can that be fixed? Sure, it can. How? My suggestions would be to help each group work through their worry with facts, not fear.
Help them know all the facts—prevention is possible, and treatment for the illness exists.
And finally, let people make their own decisions. Forcing a risky medical procedure on the entire population is archaic and has no place in today’s world.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.