My View: Don't let online shams keep us in agony
One of my best friends was in the ICU with COVID-19. She was fully vaccinated. Her name is Sharon Nesbit.
I knew intellectually that the vaccines weren't bulletproof. I was still careful after I was fully vaccinated in April, especially around my older and more frail friends and family. We still masked or stayed outside. But I got complacent. I think we all did. I still wore masks indoors around strangers, but I took them off while eating in restaurants while we were on vacation. I took them off while eating inside homes with fellow vaccinated friends and family.
Even my nerdy podcasts said it was safe to do so. They were forgoing masks in most places because serious illness and death are rare. Even scientists are human. They wish things to be true. They wait for the data.
I understand this, but we are dealing with our lives. My partner never let his guard down. He always reminded me to put my mask on. He always wanted me to wear the more uncomfortable N95 masks he ordered.
I preferred the cloth masks, even though I knew they were much less protective.
I'm wearing the scary looking N95s now. I'm masking up around my loved ones again. I am physically distancing again. I'm not relying completely on the incredibly effective vaccines to keep my loved ones alive and well.
Vaccines aren't bulletproof. Even bulletproof vests leave your head unprotected.
We all know why our loved ones are still at risk. It's because so many have fallen for the insidious misinformation peddled most often by a group of 12 individuals who profit from their campaigns online to fool people into making dangerous decisions about their health.
"The Disinformation Dozen," a study by the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH), reveals how social media companies Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube have failed to enforce their own policies to prevent the spread of vaccine and COVID-19 disinformation.
Read about how these 12 unethical business people have contributed to our society being largely unprotected from a ravaging virus despite the availability of an incredibly effective vaccine by visiting Counterhate.com/disinformationdozen.
If more people were vaccinated, the ones who are less protected, and those who aren't eligible for the vaccine, would be safer.
For those complaining about our economy suffering and our schools being affected, we would be in a much better position to return to normal if everyone eligible to be vaccinated would get their shots.
Instead, we are in a world of emerging variants and unnecessary deaths. We continue to agonize over ill friends and family. We continue to mourn lost family and friends. How many of us will never see loved ones again? How many of us will never be fully healthy again?
Let's help end this suffering. Get the shot. Help persuade your loved ones to get their shot. For everyone like Sharon.
• To read the Center for Countering Digital Hate report, visit counterhate.com.
• To find a vaccination location near you, visit getvaccinated.oregon.org, or call 800-232-0233 (TTY — 888-720-7489, disability information and access line — 888-677-1199)
Tiffaney O'Dell is the central design chief for Pamplin Media Group and the former editor of the Gresham Outlook. She lives in Gresham.
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