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Angry About Anti-Vaxxers

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  • This topic has 17 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by avatarBittergaymark.
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  • #1009401 Reply
    avatarBetty
    Guest

    My best friend is an anti-vaxxer. I am very firmly pro-vaccines and do not believe that there is a conspiracy related to them. She has the opportunity to get the COVID vaccine but is refusing and has instructed her husband (who is also in healthcare) to refuse. On top of that she does risky (in my opinion) things like host people from out of town (two people from Florida over the past three months) and go to big get-togethers. Normally I would stay out of it, but my daughter (who is six) was crying today that she can’t get the vaccine, and she said, “Do grown-ups want me to die?” … and I just feel angry that people aren’t doing everything they can to stop this virus from spreading.

    I have not seen my best friend in over a year–she respects that I am worried about COVID, so we chat on the phone, text each other, and do regular video chats. I am just beginning to feel like “agreeing to disagree” isn’t enough and I am going to blow up.

    #1009406 Reply
    avatarele4phant
    Guest

    Look I hear you, being anti-vaxx in general is dumb, refusing the opportunity to get vaccinated is dumb.

    But, as with the other thread about being upset with family/friend’s pandemic choices – there are things we can control and things we cannot. Controlling others behavior is one of those things we cannot control, controlling our own is.

    You cannot force her to want the vaccine. You cannot argue or guilt her into it. She, like you, has all the information and all the lived experience and she’s not gonna.

    You can be angry about it, but stewing in angry isn’t going to change her mind.

    You’re already not around this woman, you certainly should continue to stay away from her if she’s going to be a dummy here.

    And yes, agreeing to disagree isn’t going to solve the problem either. For your own mental health, maybe you should stop being friends with her. Tell her why you’re ending the friendship if you want, or not. But you have learned something about her character and maybe you don’t need her in your life anymore.

    Let her go, let your anger go, and focus on your own life and embrace the people in your life that aren’t being idiots, and move on from her and her stupidity.

    #1009408 Reply
    avatarBittergaymark
    Guest

    Honestly? Sometimes you have to simply ask yourself what you are truly getting out of being friends with the willfully stupid?

    #1009409 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    I had this exact issue, with some other wack stuff thrown in, and I basically just distanced myself instead of getting into a pointless confrontation or continuing to put up with it. That’s the way to go if you find this is getting in the way of your getting anything out of the friendship. Just stop reaching out and eventually you won’t talk anymore.

    You can’t talk sense into these people because they truly believe they know more than anyone else because they “do research.” Except the info they have is a bunch of misinformation they saw shared or posted online. They actually think they know more than their pediatrician because they “do research,” and that their pediatrician actually respects their knowledge. Which, no they don’t, they’re just pretending to entertain your stupid opinions because they want you to keep getting your kid looked after health-wise. Anti-Vaxxers or vaccine truthers or whatever, aren’t exactly stupid. They’re college educated, decent people, they just have anxiety and go down an internet rabbithole that makes them feel better, smarter, and more in control because they have “information” and “data.” They feel superior to you. Best to just back away.

    #1009410 Reply
    avataranonymousse
    Participant

    I would forget this “friend” for now and focus on your six year old, apparently afraid of dying. Your friend is a lost cause.

    #1009411 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    They’re also likely to be anti-maskers, Covid-truthers and probably at least Q-Anon Lite, because all that stuff is adjacent online and being adopted by the wellness and mommy influencer communities. There’s nothing you can do. Telling her what you think will do nothing, she’ll just think *youre* stupid.

    #1009415 Reply
    avatarBetty
    Guest

    Thank you for the advice, everyone. I think I needed to get validation about distancing myself for a while. My friend is very aware of my views, and has thanked me for expressing myself–not going to change her mind, and she won’t change mine. Part of it is cultural differences–I grew up upper middle class in a medical family, and she grew up poor with intermittent homelessness and distrusting authority. Also, not sure on relevance, but I am white and she is POC (mixed), and she reflects a lot on forced studies done on POC.
    Anonymousse–yes, I am focusing on my daughter and her concerns about dying, it’s not really relevant to the narrative, but she has a lot going on mentally and we finally got a referral to a specialist for intake next week.

    #1009416 Reply
    avatarKate
    Keymaster

    Oh, well she does have valid concerns about vaccines then, maybe not just a fruitcake like my friend.

    #1009417 Reply
    avatarEle4phant
    Guest

    Oh man – I do understand why people of color, particularly Black Americans, are skeptical of the medical establishment.

    The track record there has been fraught. I absolutely get why they are wary.

    Our neighbor is this 70 year old Black retiree who isn’t sure if he wants to get the vaccine, and you know what? He has every right to be skeptical. I told him to talk to people he knows and trusts and make his own decision.

    THAT SAID – just because it’s complicated there does not mean you have to stay friends with her just because of that or because you two have managed to respectfully navigate your differences in the past. Do what’s best for you and your family right now.

    Maybe you tell her that you that this is a difference you just can’t reconcile and continue your friendship. You still respect her and respect her right to make her own choices, but you just can’t be friends with her now.

    #1009429 Reply
    avatarCookiedough
    Guest

    Is she anti-vax or just anti the COVID vaccine at the moment? While I do plan on getting the vaccine myself, I can respect that there has been very little time and testing done on these vaccines in general and perhaps your friend wishes to take her chances with the virus vs the vaccine. Right now there also isn’t conclusive proof that the vaccine prevents transmission- just that it prevents serious illness in the vaccinated individual. So she technically would not be endangering you besides the whole doing risky activities, which is a whole other issue

    #1009432 Reply
    avatarFyodor
    Guest

    I know a lot of people who have had to fall back from friends during the last year or so. Two of my Dad’s closest friends, with whom he and my mom used to vacation have become crazy trumpers ranting on facebook about how the election was stolen. They’ve always had conservative political beliefs, but it’s become a lot more toxic this year and he’s had to pull back from them. I think that the isolation from the pandemic has driven a lot of people crazy and/or to lack of face to face contact has made a lot of the social media interaction more toxic.

    #1009433 Reply
    avatarDear Wendy
    Keymaster

    Yeah, there’s a difference in being anti-vax and being skeptical of the covid vaccine. For the record, I do a ton of research and nothing that I’ve read makes me doubt either of the two vaccines we have currently or the third – Johnson and Johnson, which only requires one dose. However, Black people especially have justification for feeling leery, and that needs to be respected. That doesn’t mean you have to remain friends with someone whose values don’t align with yours or whose company you no longer enjoy. But if this is really just about hesitancy around the covid vaccine, that’s not the same thing as being an anti-vaxxer, in my opinion.

    • This reply was modified 1 month ago by avatarDear Wendy.
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