The spread of misinformation in recent years has drastically affected myself and the people in my life. The main issue revolves around the misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccinations. There are many people in my life who have refused to get vaccinated against COVID, for reasons that are proven as misinformation. Someone particularly close to me in my life refused to get vaccinated because she believes in the conspiracy theory that the vaccine contains microchips which would be used to track people. She has gone on very intense facebook rants and even rants in person about this theory. Whenever I ask her to provide evidence she just says “its all over online, you can find the stories everywhere’. I have yet to find credible evidence that this theory is correct. I hate the fact that a global health crisis was turned into such a polarizing political issue in mainly America. Even though the vaccine was a free vaccination to the public, and testing was also free, people refuse to vaccinate themselves and their children because of misinformation that has been spread online and also on right wing broadcasts like Fox News. Very prominent right wing ‘journalists’ spread lies about the covid vaccine to keep their audience angry and keep them on their side. Tucker Carlson is a very famous notable conservative commentator who continues to push misinformation with no evidence other than by word of mouth, in the hopes that his loyal audience believes him at his word. A lot of the time, these prominent right wing politicians and journalists come out publicly against the covid vaccine however they refuse to say that they themselves haven’t received it. A lot of them have gotten vaccinated, however if they were to come out and say that they would receive heavy criticism from their fanbase and they need to views or in politicians case, the votes.
This even extends into my work life. I work at a veterinary clinic and there has been a noticeable increase in clients refusing to vaccinate their pets. Just recently, there was a client who refused to all vaccinations for her dog and she also refused to spay her dog because it is ‘toxic’. No matter how much the doctor tried to explain the medical benefits of spaying her dog, and the risks associated if she stays intact, the client refused. The rabies vaccination is legally required by Arizona state law, and if she refused the vaccine, we could no longer see her as a client. Still, the owner refused and chose to go elsewhere. The only reason we would medically exempt a dog from the rabies vaccination is if the pet is geriatric and/or has illnesses where there are risks involved. I have heard many clients claim that vaccinations aren’t necessary, even with their puppies. Puppies are at extremely high risk of contracting parvo virus which is a highly contagious and deadly virus. Still, people refuse against the doctors medical advice. It’s fascinating to me that people are so against vaccinations and refuse to listen to medical professionals, they have been so brainwashed that the word vaccine is automatically bad and dangerous.