I have friends who fall on all ends of the spectrum when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. I have some who believe the mandates are good and should be effected. I have others who have declared the vaccine to be the "mark of the beast," the beginning of "ragnarock," and, my favorite, "Kali Yuga" from a non-Hindu (or the fourth age of Hindu eschatology in which the demon Kali destroys all of human kind). That last one threw me for a loop, I guess he is investigating the Hindu religion.
Clearly I have an eclectic set of friends.
Yet the broader question is why. Why do they feel this way? Why do they have such deep mistrust? What is it that causes people to question the "experts?"
Well, in one word, TRANSPARENCY.
I learned a lot about people in my early working years as a salesperson. I have worked in retail, professional, and door to door sales. During that time, I learned VERY QUICKLY that while most people will let you obfuscate and hide details because they do not want to admit that they know less about it than you do, there are about 20%(ish) of people who will call you out on it and walk away because they feel lied to.
Did I ever lie? No, I can honestly say with a clean conscience that I did not.
Yet their feeling that I was not giving them all of the information led them to reject not only the product, but me as well. It did not matter that I was the "expert," they had lost faith in me because they FELT that I had attempted to trick them.
In many ways, the rollout of the COVID vaccinations have fallen prey to the same problem, and those at the top do not seem to be willing to acknowledge that they made a mistake and correct it.
That is why I cannot blame anyone for not taking the vaccine.
Look, science is not exact. There is a lot of trial and error involved, and in many ways, you can never be sure how something will turn out. You do the best you can with the information you have in order to help the maximum amount of people possible.
But, for all of its good intentions, it is still trial and error, and some are just not comfortable with that. Particularly if they feel like things are being hidden from them.
I have reviewed the data. I have read the studies. I would like to believe that I have weighed the pros of the vaccine against the cons of comorbidities and vaccine reactions. In the end, I decided to get vaccinated. After weighing all of the available evidence, I felt it was the best option FOR ME. I also feel that for some it is not even an option at all.
The bigger issue, I believe, is that I had to dig so hard for FACTS. There were an infinite number of opinions. There were an innumerable number of slanted "fact sheets" and graphics. Heck, all you have to do is type "vaccine" into the YouTube search bar to find more one sided videos than you will ever need.
But here is the problem, they are all one sided.
Even the CDC does its very best to hide the vaccine reactions and ever shortening protection periods. They also do not give ANY real data on natural immunity unless you go digging, and boy do I mean digging, for it. It IS there, but you have to work to find anything more than a tacit mention at the end of some other write up designed to get you to take the vaccine.
Look, when the World Health Organization (WHO) is being more open and honest about the vaccines than the leading health department of THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA a FREE country, we are in trouble.
It is things like this that cause people to accept so many of these conspiracy theories as plausible. Had the CDC simply laid bare all of the information available on ALL FRONTS concerning the vaccine and not worried about, "people misunderstanding the science about it and coming to the wrong conclusions," they would not be having these issues.
People that go digging for facts are going to find them. People who just want easy answers from a talking head are not even going to bother looking. So the end result is that by attempting to "control the masses," you caused a counter reaction in those who refuse to be manipulated or lied to. Even if you, technically, did not lie.
Though some will point out that a lie of omission is still a lie, that is not the type of lie I am referencing.
Would there still be some who would refuse to take the vaccine? Sure, but you have that already and you have a MUCH LARGER number of them than you would have had if you had just put the information out and let people make their own informed decisions. It was this attempt at controlling the narrative that has led to what we have today.
Do I believe the vaccines are safe? Well, let us just say that I believe that they are safer than facing COVID with my health the way it is without it. But that is a choice I made based upon all of the evidence I found. Most people who walked away from me in sales will never do the work to find those facts, they will just walk away because they feel manipulated.
And let us be honest, the government was attempting to manipulate the data and narrative to get everyone vaccinated.
I do not know if/how we can ever put the genie back in the bottle. Yet one thing I know for sure, and that is that if the CDC does not cure its transparency problem, it will forever have a stigma on it in the eyes of a large portion of our population who will not trust what it says ever again.
THIS IS A GREATER TRAVESTY than a small percentage of people looking at ALL the data and choosing not to be vaccinated.
What happens when it is a real killing virus? Ebola, Marburg, or Dengue, all are out there and others are yet to evolve. If the CDC has zero credibility with 20%(ish) of the population when a monster like one of these hits, we could see that "millions of people dead in America" that we were told was coming from COVID.
I do not blame them for trying to get out ahead of it, hence why I am not raking them over the coals for mis-predicting it. Yet it does not help their credibility when they WILL NOT even say what they got wrong, or why, in a way that helps people to fully understand what is going on.
But let me attempt to approach it differently for a moment, and maybe you will understand my point better (yes, I am going to attempt to do what I am saying the CDC should not do in order to prove my point):
By assuming that everyone is a brain dead zombie idiot who could not possibly understand and who needs to be "guided" to the right answer, the CDC pushed out the very people that they are now so desperate to reach.
See how I "dumbed" it down? I bet you feel quite condescended to right now. That is how people feel when the government, or experts, do it to them. Yes, we may not understand all of the specific scientific intricoes, but that does not mean that we are idiots who are incapable of grasping the idea and understand what is going on. And it is treating people like that that has caused them to push back.
Big Government's biggest problem is that it take the idiocy of the common person as a given. They ASSUME we're all myopic intellects who cannot possibly keep up with them, so we just have to be corralled and told what to do. Like cattle.
Well, enough people know what happens to cattle to make that an unappealing idea.
If the CDC, and the American Government for that matter, want to begin mending this fence and reaching the numbers that they want, they are going to have to do two things:
1) Accept that they are not going to get a 100% vaccination rate. 90% would be amazing, and even that should not necessarily be the goal.
2) They need to get the "experts" to put out the entire truth, without dumbing it down or purposely making it as complex as possible to attempt to make us feel like idiots (yes, that is the other trick they pull). Treat people as intelligent beings and you just might convince them that you are not lying to them.
Those should stand to reason, but we seem to have left reason behind a long time ago.
People are not cattle.
It is time to stop treating them as such.