File photo

Come down from your high horse

A need for pandemic advice without being condescending

The pandemic has had me wondering as to how many people will now be reevaluating their friendships and relationships.

Family dinners and celebrations will now have one more topic of contention — COVID-19. How a person reacts to a global pandemic, to health restrictions and to sound medical information can now determine whether or not dinner will be a pleasant affair or a reason for imploding relationships.

Despite so many deaths many people have continued to call this virus fake, flu-like or made-up. Despite so many health care officials and seniors having been vaccinated, many people continue to show mistrust when it comes to getting jabbed.

Why have things come to this? Why is sound, reasonable medical advice not heeded by so many people around the globe? What more can be done?

The fake news brigade plays a major role in this and has not spared the public even during a global pandemic. These unnamed actors working from behind the scenes of bots and social media profiles and fake articles, have continued to create confusion on vaccine trials, have spread fake news around home remedies and have encouraged hesitancy amongst people towards getting vaccinated.

A big part of the equation is also ignorance. And in this case, ignorance is certainly not bliss. A large chunk of population has remained actively ignorant and have been met with condescending advice. Another chunk actively consumes misinformation and is again met with snobbery of those rightly informed.

There are already studies and researchers are attempting to find out why vaccine hesitancy is so high among people but I just want to continue focusing on how we should react in turn. Vaccinated people’s promptness to dismiss the concerns of those afraid to get jabbed has become quite common these days.

Yes, it can be quite frustrating to see the people you love and adore not follow the mask mandates or dismiss the pandemic as a government conspiracy or link vaccines to chips being implanted to track people. At times, when I have heard a friend or a family call the mask mandate unnecessary or when I have heard a friend say how she doesn’t trust vaccines, I want to grab them and shake them to their senses but I quickly realize that backing anyone into a corner can only make them shrink more rather than be open to newer, more informed ideas. Because as is the case with any advice, the more you and I scream and shout or hand out advice whilst looking down on others, this advice won’t be taken to heart.

So let’s be kinder, let’s not be condescending, and let’s continue promoting truth and facts over everything else.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

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