Pro-vaxxers- Feeling fed up? Unheard? Cowed? Drowned out? Overwhelmed? We see you and hear you! And, dammit, we need you!
The ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’
Since the advent of the delta variant, we’ve heard over and over again about the “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Even “numbers guy” Gov. Tate Reeves recently uttered that phrase. Good on you, Tater! Not often we get to say that.
But many media commentators are hesitant to address how we got here. Usually, they limit themselves to pointing to the flood of misinformation out there, which has, understandably, given many people pause. But they rarely allude to the real problem, if they address it at all. The problem is, of course, that many Americans simply “don’t wanna be told what to do”. Not even if it’s for their own wellbeing and that of their community.
And, boy, are these people vocal!
They protest unmasked in the streets with signs reading “My body, my choice”. (A slogan ironically lifted from the pro-abortion movement, but I digress). They threaten people at schoolboard meetings. They file lawsuits when public or private institutions make a choice to require vaccines to protect those who work for them or rely on their services.
When a neighbor or a family member has the temerity to encourage people they care about to get vaccinated, they risk being on the receiving end of a merciless tirade about “libs-n-tyranny”.
But nowhere is this trend more apparent than on social media. Any mildly pro-vax post on Facebook, even one merely sharing facts and figures, inevitably meets a tide of vitriol in the comments. In this environment, any person who might wanna speak up will likely think twice about doing so. Many others have just given up.
This is what I call the ‘tyranny of the unvaccinated’.
And the fruits of this tyranny are touching all of us, vaccinated or not. Hospitals are unable to care for people who need non-COVID-related urgent care. Why? Because their care wards are full to capacity with COVID patients. Depending on where you are in the country, 95-99% of hospitalized COVID patients are unvaccinated. Some are hardcore anti-vaxxers who exercised their “right” not to get vaccinated. Many more are people who just fell victim to their hype.
What about the “rights” of patients who got vaccinated, but are now unable to receive urgent care for other ailments?
Now that school’s back, children and educators are at risk, because of “parents’ rights” not to send their kids to school with masks. That’s the rationale of governors who banned mask mandates in schools, like Ron DeSantis in Florida and Greg Abbot in Texas (who has reportedly received a *third* COVID vaccine).
But what of the “rights” of parents who want to protect their kids and themselves?
I could give example after example. But the point is, somehow, the rights of the anti-vaxxers have superseded the rights of those who want to protect their own health and that of their communities. And we are ALL paying the price for it.
Now, the good news…
It seems (at least to me) that the pro-vax/mask contingent are finally getting fed up. Just a month ago, any post from our website about COVID invariably garnered the “libs-n-tyranny” comments on Facebook. Those still come in, but now I’m seeing more people sharing, liking, and commenting in support of what ought to be merely common sense reporting at this point.
To those who are speaking up, I must say I am very glad to see you. I’m sure you sometimes feel unheard or unseen or just feel like you’re spitting into a hurricane. But rest assured, we do hear and see you! And so does everyone else! And even though it might not feel like it sometimes, that is VERY important. In fact, it is the most important thing.
Governments, businesses and institutions can put up all the mandates they want. A sad necessity, since it’s clear that many simply won’t get the jab until it becomes a giant pain in the ass not to.
But for obvious reasons, mandates do not unharden hearts or change minds. That will only happen when we beat the hardcore anti-vaxxers at their own game and drown them out. And that is something that neither Dr. Fauci nor any other other bureaucrat in Washington or Jackson can do…
BUT YOU CAN!
YES, YOU! The people who live in our communities, whose kids go to our schools, who we see at Wal-Mart and church and everywhere else. Now is your time! Speak up everywhere you can, at town meetings, church meetings, school board meetings and on social media. Don’t be afraid, don’t worry about the haters. Just do it. And do it often!
You may not get many pats on the back, but the people who need to hear you WILL hear you. Be an example to others (our “closet vaxxers”) who have been cowed into silence. Give people who are fearful and on the fence another voice to listen to.
It’s easy to forget that the hardcore anti-vaxxers are actually just a small minority, albeit a very vocal one. Many people are actually very reachable, even many of those who still say they don’t want the vaccine. But to reach those people, we have to turn the tide on the anti-vaxxers by being just as outspoken as they are, and more so. The more of us that speak up, and the bolder we are about it, the quicker this nightmare will be over.
And, unlike our opponents, we don’t have to be rude, hostile, or resort to personal attacks. That’s because we have the facts, figures, and cold hard reality on our side. Instead, our best weapons are information, our experiences, and our empathy. Talk about your vaccination experiences. Share your fears for those you love, or your sorrow for those you’ve lost. Share posts on social media. Whatever, whenever, wherever.
Believe it or not, it all makes a difference. Every word or post from you chips away at the fear, misinformation, and sheer bloody-mindedness plaguing our communities in a way all the pronouncements from Fauci, the FDA, the CDC (or even NEMISS.NEWS posts) never can.
Welcome to the fight and keep chipping away!
BONUS: Arm yourselves with further reading!
anti-vaxxers, closet vaxxers, COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines, Gov. Greg Abbot, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Gov. Tate Reeves, Public Health