People who remain unwilling to be vaccinated and opposed to wearing masks seem to think that the rest of the world is out to get them.
Many of them take it personally when the exasperation of exhausted health care workers and the frustration of everyone else who’s taken shots and regularly donned masks to protect themselves and others from COVID boils over.
“Why the snark?” they ask. “Why do you care what I do? It’s my body, my choice.”
And so on.
Even now, as the supercharged delta variant ravages much of the country, some see no reason to take precautions and resent being begged to do so. Even now, after the Food and Drug Administration has granted full approval to the Pfizer vaccine and is expected to give the green light to the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson jabs, many balk. The vaccines were developed too quickly, they say, and potential side effects aren’t being studied enough.
The sad truth is, a significant number of Americans — including many here in the Yakima Valley — simply won’t buy any argument anyone can make for following basic health safety measures. They don’t trust doctors until they get sick.
Still, we applaud ongoing efforts by public health officials and medical professionals to provide clear, unbiased and honest information about COVID vaccines and other preventative measures.
Recently, Dr. Scott Lindquist, state epidemiologist for communicable diseases, and Kathy Bay, the state Department of Health’s clinical and quality assurance section manager, did an hour-long, online Q&A session. We recommend you review the video here if you have questions or doubts about the vaccines.
Local experts have been doing their part, too.
Rhonda Wellner, system director of quality for Astria Health, and Dr. Marty Brueggemann, chief medical officer at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital, have issued pleas for getting vaccinations and masking up.
“We’re scared. I don’t know what else we can say,” Brueggemann told the Herald-Republic last week. “I don’t think people understand how fragile the system is right now.”
Offering straightforward facts on how to protect yourself and your kids is the best anyone can do now. The seriousness of what we’re all facing is beyond rhetoric.
But we hope the anti-vaccination, anti-mask corners of the community can see at least one important truth: When your doctor implores you to take certain safety steps and when your neighbors voice their annoyance at you for doing nothing to protect their health, don’t assume that it’s all a conspiracy of some sort.
Like you, they just want to live. They just want to keep their children safe.
They want to get back to working in a normal atmosphere. Dining out without a bunch of rules, enjoying sporting events, shopping safely in local stores.
There simply isn’t anything political about that.