Updated: May 10
Kris Artuso tries to make sense of the most problematic issue we face in the pandemic. Spoiler: it's us.
There's nothing more soothing to the human ego than being right. It's just a fact. It's merely a way for us humans to feel some sort of accomplishment- as if to say, "I told Little Timmy not to touch the stove burner, but he did, and therefore I am smarter because I said so. Also, I'm not crying in the corner, sucking my thumb." Then again, I would suppose Timmy feels some iota of satisfaction because he defied the rules. Which would peeve anyone off. Of course, this scenario is just your typical adult/child situation; something that absolutely would not happen between two mature adults. Except it does. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it's that we are all part adult and part "Little Timmy", depending on when it's convenient for us. Especially when it comes to being jabbed in your arm.
You see, the idea of the Covid vaccine has divided us into two groups: those who want it and those who don't. There's a reason for making this choice and they're both quite valid. It's safe to assume those who choose to get it (be it, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer) have read up on vaccines, understand why they work, trust science or simply believe that, while they may be scared, taking it will help us all.
For those who don't want it, it may be because they want to wait and see what the long-term effects may be. Perhaps they are skeptical or are even questioning the vaccine- all while still considering the science or at least favouring it. Some might actually just not understand it and that can also be a reason for doubt. Make no mistake, there will always be those who for no particular reason, may want to concoct absolute nonsense, fake news, or try to create chaos to frighten the masses. While not proven, I'd imagine that's due to a bout with brain fog, presumably caused by Covid. That said, back to my point...
All these groups believe that their side is right and whatever they are doing is truly for the greater good. They are the adults and anyone else is just a little Timmy, going against the rules because why should they listen to anyone? Except, that's just an opinion. Science is right. Vaccines work. In fact, I will soon be booking my very own appointment. However, just because I understand the science and know this will protect me, it doesn't mean I can't understand why someone, no matter their age group, would want to question it; perhaps share doubts and concerns. It's not a hard concept to grasp: don't rule out any hypothesis. After all, who am I to shun someone for having doubts? Again, it must be stressed that once we have the proper facts and information, it's in our best interest to follow them as opposed to, giving out free hugs in protest of safety regulations, for example. At which point, one may have to realize that perhaps nobody wants to hug them in general.
That being said, what we need to understand is that we aren't better than the next person and we definitely aren't holier than thou if we choose to take or leave a vaccine. It's easy for us to make an educated decision...if we're educated. If the factual or reassuring information isn't getting to those who need it, perhaps it's actually time we sit down with each other (social distanced, of course) and talk about why we have taken our certain stance.
I've never understood why we can't have this reasonable type of discussion with someone who may not agree with us. It seems more constructive than dismissing them and calling them a moron, which I suspect those who haven't made it to this part of the Op-Ed are calling me in the comment section.
The fact is, it's easy to look down on someone for not understanding us or going against the big picture. There's also a high chance that we know someone, possibly a friend, relative or loved one who is also considering not taking the vaccine. So now what? We can decide to badmouth them, maybe keep our distance and choose not to talk to them. We can also conclude that they're just not as smart as us and they're just being very...dumb.
Or we can just talk to them.
This shouldn't be as radical of an idea as it is. It's quite simple to have a civilized discussion without a harebrained protest breaking out or a condescending Instagram story being shared, bashing the opposite side.
Do not, however, mistake this as an invitation to go preaching. Nobody likes a know-it-all.
Don't be that person.
But also, don't be the person wanting to ostracize someone for having a different thought process. Eventually, they might understand you. They may not agree with you and you may very well not convince them to follow your ideas but the goal is that you at least understand both opinions because dismissing another person's ideas- as obtuse as they may sound to you- is not being intelligent.
That's called ignorance.
That's the main fact we've learnt over this vaccine rollout, isn't it? It seems that prick or no prick, you may very well still be one.