Different Dinner Tables

I had coffee with a friend last week and was doing my usual grousing about people not being vaccinated.  Apparently, her husband has had similar complaints 😊.

I am a vaccine hard a@#.

This friend has a health education background and we have worked together for 10 years. She has tempered my edge over the years by reminding me that labeling people anti-vaxxers just reinforces their opposition and that they may have a multitude of reasons for not YET being vaccinated.

She reminded her husband and me that everyone didn’t grow up around the same dinner table.  That was food for thought!

Growing up, our daughter was long exposed to both governmental public health and health care by her parents at the dinner table.  If she were still at home during COVID 19, she would have heard:

  • COVID 19 is real and can be dangerous to many people
  • Trust the government and believe in science
  • Vaccines are safe and effective. Getting vaccinated as quickly as possible will save lives
  • Wearing a mask protects you and others and is no big deal

Even though our family left our dinner table long ago, all our daughters and their families are vaccinated, wear masks, and firmly believe COVID 19 is real.

Other people, who may not YET be vaccinated likely grew up around very different dinner tables.  They may be hearing:

  • COVID 19 is a hoax or no big deal
  • Government isn’t to be trusted and neither is science
  • Vaccines are untested and dangerous
  • I’m not going to wear a mask because it infringes on my personal freedom

I think it is also fair to say that many people didn’t grow up around any dinner table.  Other people may also turn to Facebook as their dinner companion.

It was helpful to be reminded that everyone wasn’t raised the same way. And that listening to people’s concerns and fears, being compassionate and not judgmental, may be a better path forward to increase vaccinations than labeling people ‘anti-vaxxers’ and calling it good.  



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