When we took our first European vacation, the best guide was at the church in Assisi. He said that we need to be giving people, especially young people, positive messages. How we choose to present issues is critical. He stressed framing issues in a positive light.
His lesson comes to mind when talking about today’s pandemic. We are making progress, but too often, the big stories revolve around people who are either hesitant or downright resistant to getting the vaccine because of fears and/or misinformation. There are stories of people who are frustrated with the process. There are the stories that highlight the failures of the J&J vaccine production plus the CDC’s being very careful with some serious side effects. These are legitimate stories.
However, we also need more stories that highlight our successes. We have put over 200,000,000 shots in arms in 100 days. At that rate, which includes some early low numbers as the vaccine efforts were gearing up, we could easily have just about everyone vaccinated before fall. This means a normal school year. We could be back at baseball, football and basketball games. We could have trick-or-treating and families enjoying Thanksgiving dinners and under Christmas trees.
Although a new surge is upon us, it does not appear to be nearly as bad as the earlier surges because of the vaccine program, including J&J, what we have learned about the disease, and the positive effects of continued masking, distancing, and hand washing. We are now demonstrating global leadership by lending a helping hand to those countries who are in worse shape than we.
Yes, we still have problems, and yes, we need to get the positivity rate way down, far under 1 percent. We can do this. When we have people following the science and doing the right things, we can overcome this virus. People need to be reminded of just how far we have come and encouraged to stay the course. All pandemics come to an end. If we continue to do the right things, we can end this one sooner rather than later.
Terry Ferrari, Dyer