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Humanizing Hesitancy



My heart was warmed, and frustration pacified, while reading last week's NCJ. It seems there were a few attempts to humanize the hesitancy some members of our community feel about getting vaccinated (Mailbox, Aug. 19). 

The snippet from the New York Times article provided useful tactics for reaching the unvaccinated, including a long-awaited sentence, "... using fear, shame, and shock have now been shown to not get us where we need to go ... ."

Moving forward, I hope the NCJ can take such a stance into consideration when covering COVID. I have known more than a few vaccine hesitant Democrats that have been "pushed right" due to all of the misrepresentation, when so much of pop culture lumps all vaccine hesitant people into a group of selfish, uneducated Republicans. Counter productivity could find no better poster child.

The letter pleading for vaccination signed by so many of our local doctors was also well-played, and well-timed ("Please Get Vaccinated"). The simple, genuinely caring, human-to-human tone sets another great precedent for a productive approach to having a conversation with those on "the other side." I was a bit disappointed that they did not communicate the importance of eating healthy, getting exercise, fresh air and sunlight. They state they are "tired of the suffering, pain and death that can be avoided by getting vaccinated." Vaccination isn't enough. As a community concerned about health and safety it is up to each one of us to promote the use of every tool at our disposal to fight this thing. Along with healthy physical living and vaccination we need to take serious inventory of our informational diet and collective mental health. Stress and anxiety are immune suppressants, and we are in dire need of love as an inoculate against all psychological viruses of our time.

Ross Burns, Eureka

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