No Means No

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 By Cathy Jameson

Scrolling through a local news website, I saw a nurse being interviewed about the COVID shot.  The blurb that accompanied the video shared that the “…assistant dean of the Columbia University School of Nursing says there needs to be a ‘multifactorial’ approach when trying to convince people to get vaccinated.”  The Associated Press also shared the link with the nurse,  who’s part of this CDC-funded organization.  

As I watched, it was clear that the message was not to inform or educate the public about the shot.  It was to do everything possible “to get the last percentage of people vaccinated”.  Since that hasn’t happened, despite an abundance of free vaccines being available, groups, including the US government, are using all sorts of approaches to peer pressure everyone to get vaccinated.  The nurse suggests using other people – spokespeople of the same race, church representatives, youth ambassadors, and celebrities.  Other techniques are to use avenues like social media.  Getting the right people to tell their own story to these last few Americans could be convincing.  Smiling through the short interview, she seemed proud of strategies and tactics she suggested to raise vaccine confidence. 

All over the web, like clockwork, other local news stations and websites shared the exact same message. 

The nurse’s message aligned with Biden’s latest complaint that not every American has gotten the shot

I know he struggles sometimes, but Biden, like those funds the nurse’s mission, have not gotten the message that some Americans do not want the shot, cannot take the shot, and will not get that shot.  These Americans aren’t perseverating their message as much as the administration currently is, but they’ve been vocal, too.  

They’ve confidently said no.

They’ve politely said no, thank you.

They’ve emphatically said no!

Their message needs no elaborate tactics and is very simple:  No means no.  They’ve said that over a year ago when vaccines became part of the COVID19 conversation, and their saying it again.  How much clearer do they need to be? 

My kids know that sometimes they don’t get to do what they want.  They know that they may be disappointed if the answer to a request they’ve made is no.  It’s tough being a kid, but they know to respect the answer, especially when the answer is no.  If they don’t respect it, they may face consequences. 

Some people at the top of the COVID19 pyramid are having a hard time respecting an answer they don’t want to hear.  I wonder what it’s going to take to get them to back off.  With restrictions being reinstated for some in the workforce, regardless of vaccine status, I have an awful feeling that things aren’t going to go so well for some this time around.  Threatening and enforcing unnecessary restrictions is not good strategy.  That’s squeezed the life out of too many people  already

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