Much is being said in regard to being vaccinated, and wearing masks. Like everything else these days, the discussions are highly polarized. As of yesterday, it was mandated that health care workers in California be vaccinated. Oregon is following suit. Today, I saw that it will be required of the military.

As a health care practitioner (who is trying to protect a family member undergoing chemotherapy) I wear a mask, and I was vaccinated in January. Both of my adult children were vaccinated, as well. I support their decision.

Now that around 90% of COVID hospitalizations are people who have not been vaccinated, obviously the decision is clear. Why would anyone not choose it?

I propose several reasons.

Of late, distrust of government has reached new levels. As one of many examples, our current president has proclaimed that he had a full academic scholarship to law school, that he graduated from college with three degrees, and he ranked in the top half of his law school class. None of this is true. I would not heed the advice of a physician who made similar false claims, for fear that his problems with the truth extend into his current recommendations. Other people may share my opinion.

One group would likely be Native Americans. Since I have worked in public health on a Native American reservation, I can tell you that convincing them that the government is here to help us is a very hard sell.

Recent figures indicate that the percentage of vaccination among blacks is 28%. Could that be due to our current vice president’s earlier statements not to trust the vaccine? Perhaps they just remember the Tuskegee experiment (which only ended in 1972). Regardless of which issue is more applicable, they are unlikely to put their faith in government, either.

Those who have actually had the virus, and whose immunity has been documented to be greater than that produced by the vaccine, could likewise not be blamed for declining the injection.

The degree of need for the vaccination is even disputed by different sources at Johns Hopkins. In England, recent evidence indicates that people fully vaccinated against COVID-19 may be able to transmit the delta variant just as easily as those who aren’t. People who fear significant vaccine side effects (and they do occur, albeit rarely) could not be blamed for asking how being vaccinated will protect others.

Lastly, instead of having easy access to impartial news, we now deal with media sources and network “experts” who suppress evidence which refutes their party lines. At some point, journalists and social media CEOs chose themselves as arbiters of what constitutes “misinformation.” Unfortunately, they are frequently proven wrong. Frequently wrong, but never in doubt, as the saying goes.

When I was in the Navy, if I complained to my CO without suggesting a solution, I would be told (not politely) to “Get the hell out of my office.” With those memories in mind, my humble solution is to suggest that electing public officials we can actually trust, and better access to unbiased news will have more success in improving the vaccination rate than open borders, censoring opposing viewpoints, virtue signaling, public shaming, and mandates (which our elected officials frequently don’t follow).

Our first chance to effect such change is Sept. 14, 2021.

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