As vaccines are being widely deployed in the United States, it seems as the volume of harsh rhetoric these days demonizing “the other” side’s response to the current state of the pandemic is rising.
On one side, if you will, some are being exceptionally cruel towards folks that are genuinely nervous and scared about the Covid19 vaccine. These hesitant people are not one monolithic demographic. Each has its own set of concerns. It could be religious. Or they would rather see more data. Or they have a medical situation. Or they want to wait until the vaccines are no longer part of the emergency exemption program, or frankly they have been given false information. I encourage you to listen to this recent podcast on the Daily for those of you frustrated by vaccine-hesitant folks.
Yet another other side is demonizing vaccinated folks for wearing a mask outside. But we don’t know their story either. We don’t know if they lost loved ones during this pandemic. We don’t know if they are actually vaccinated. We don’t know if they have other life stress in their lives. We don’t know if they have been dealing with misinformation.
While we don’t know the stories that each of us is carrying, we know one thing very well. Our society and planet have suffered so much loss and pain during this pandemic. Every day we have beared witness to the loss of life and economic devastation. We suffered while a former President continuously denied the virus threat while knowing the absolute truth back in February 2020. We have experienced a deep and widespread collective trauma.
This pandemic has reminded us that we are all in this together, that we need each other more than ever, that we are deeply connected. And thankfully we have seen countless examples of people and communities stepping up to help each other.
Let’s all give each other a little more patience and support as we enter the next phase of this process. Be kind.
(full disclosure: I am fully vaccinated as well and so is my wife. Two of our adult kids are fully vaccinated and our youngest will hopefully get his first injection in the coming days).