It’s easy and very tempting to poke fun at the Texas Democrats who fled Austin for Washington D.C., took selfies of themselves flying maskless on a private plane (in direct contradiction to TSA guidelines), and who were then hit by an outbreak of the Coronavirus. Actually, when you consider that Gene Wu is among them, it becomes impossible not to make fun of them.
And yet, it’s easy to miss the bigger picture. Yes, the Texas Democrats are smugly off-putting and strangely proud of stalling out whatever momentum the Democratic Party had in Texas. Yes, Gene Wu is a second-rate version of Eric Swalwell. Yes, they were all vaccinated but, at last count, five of them still ended up testing positive for the Coronavirus. And yes, Kamala Harris had to go to Walter Reade after meeting with these idiots. It’s easy to laugh but, as of now, none of the five confirmed cases appear to be serious. The symptoms have been described as mild.
In other words, the vaccine appears to be doing what it’s supposed to be doing. The vaccine has never been a guarantee against getting the Coronavirus. It’s always been acknowledged that some people would still contract COVID even after getting the shot. Instead, the role of the vaccine is to make it less likely that you’ll fall seriously or fatally ill as a result of getting COVID. The fact of the matter is that we’ll probably never be rid of COVID-19. Much like the flu, it may just be a part of everyday life now. But, by getting vaccinated, we can be much better prepared to deal with it in case we do get ill.
While I do agree that it does seem strange that one relatively small caucus of legislators would have that many breakthrough infections, it also appears that the vaccine does work.
So, how do we get more people to take the vaccine? How do we deal with vaxx hesitancy? I think that Twitter user @theageofshoddy has the right idea.
Too much of the current vaccine messaging is made up of government officials saying things like, “If you get vaccinated, we might let you do some things.” That’s an approach that people in Washington love because it makes them feel important but it’s not going to resonate with a lot of people outside of the D.C. bubble. People are already doing things. Offering to allow people to do things that they’re already doing just proves that people in D.C. have massively overestimated their influence.
The other approach that I frequently see is the commentator or the celebrity who says, “Get vaccinated or you’re a terrible person who is selfish and wants to kill people.” Lecturing people is never the right approach, especially when the lecturing is being done by a media and a political class that has continually proved itself to be hypocritical and unwilling to live by the rules that it sets for everyone else.
If someone is already hesitant about the vaccine, their mind is not going to be changed by our mummified president pointing at the camera and struggling to put indignant words together into a coherent sentence. And celebrities aren’t going to change anyone’s mind either. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve see the John Legend “This is our shot” commercial but, as expensive as it obviously was to produce, it doesn’t appear to have moved the needle one way or another. When your idea of effective outreach is to have Sean Penn interview Dr. Fauci for a primetime special, it’s clear that you don’t know how to reach anyone outside of your circle.
Get Biden out of it. Get the celebrities out of it. Let the community take care of itself. The vaccines are a good thing. Let people learn that from those that they know and trust. True, that may not be as emotionally satisfying to some as giving orders or passing judgment or indulging in their own authoritarian impulses but it may also be the only way to get people to take the shot.