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On Oct. 24, Our World In Data reported that roughly 57 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated, just shy of seven percent are partially vaccinated and 66 percent haven’t received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The country is still largely more unvaccinated than vaccinated—and that’s disappointing. It also explains why there is so much room for interpersonal conflict surrounding the vaccine. As if there wasn’t enough for people to be divided over before, like who you voted for, whether or not you’re vegan or carnivore, religious or agnostic or prefer sugar over salt in your grits. There has always been topics that cause so much tension that people will choose to cut-off anyone who sees differently from them.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there could be a “What happened during the pandemic stays in the pandemic” rule, where everyone agrees to not make permanent decisions about their relationships based on how people handled an unprecedented, confusing event?
The COVID-19 vaccine has created a real point of contention for many friends, couples, coworkers and families. Here are fights that have been caused by the COVID-19 vaccine.
To Vax Or Not To Vax Your Child
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Divorced parents who are co-parenting already have enough decisions to make together (i.e. argue over), and now the COVID-19 vaccine gives them another. The Washington Post reported that some divorced parents are going to court over the decision of whether or not to vaccinate their child against the coronavirus. Their featured story is about a nurse who, being well-versed in the dangers of COVID-19, was eager to get her child vaccinated and the day before the scheduled appointment received a notice that her ex was taking her to court over the choice. She won, in the end, because she had medical evidence on her side and her husband had 150 propaganda articles.
A Vaccine Bouncer
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The temperatures are dropping and people are eager to get back to enjoying indoor activities, like dinner outings and house parties. However, it’s created the need for a new type of bouncer: the vaccine bouncer. Many individuals do not feel comfortable going to an indoor party unless the vaccine card of everyone who enters the door has been checked. And if the host fails to check those or fails to designate someone to do so, it can mean an all-out friendship distancing for some. Some guests may feel their host doesn’t care about their wellbeing, if they won’t check guest vaccine cards—and cut ties.
Wait Your Turn
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This fight emerged when the vaccine first rolled out and now there’s a re-emergence now that the booster shot is out. As with the first vaccine, first responders, hospital staff, nursing home staff and vulnerable groups such as the elderly or those who are immunocompromised are first in line for the booster shot. People are up in arms at anyone who doesn’t fall into one of those priority categories, who found a way to jump the line and get a booster shot early. It is believed they stole the booster from someone who needs it more.
You’re Not Vaccinated?!
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This is one of the most common conflicts: people are severing ties with life-long friends, professional contacts and even family members over their choice to not get vaccinated. “You’re what’s wrong with this country!” “You don’t care about anybody but yourself!” These are just a few of the comments seen on social media when someone dares to publicize they aren’t getting vaccinated. People may denounce their own parents over their choice not to get vaccinated.
Hanging Out With The Unvaccinated
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While many Americans are comfortable ending relationships with people over the vaccine, others are not. Some may feel it’s a personal choice, and do not judge the character of those who choose not to get vaccinated. Put simply: there are vaccinated individuals who still choose to fraternize with anti-vaxxers and the unvaxxed. But when that information makes it to some of their vaccinated friends, they, too, can be ostracized.
Playdates Get Canceled Right Along With People
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Parents can be in some tricky situations given the vaccine conflicts. An adult might be comfortable associating with unvaccinated individuals, but once their child is in the picture, it’s a different story. Parents whose children have socialized for years may be cutting ties because of their difference of opinion over the vaccine. The topic of children and the vaccine is a different beast. There are adults who are vaccinated but aren’t comfortable giving their kids the shot. There are adults who won’t get the vaccine but will have their children vaccinated. In the end, many parents may resort to keeping their kids from playing with others because of a vaccine choice.