A reduction in the percentage of people getting their children vaccinated was one of my worries. I hope this news out of Texas is not a trend. I say that know that of course it's going to be a trend.
I have lost nearly half my readership over the covid issues, but the part that bothers me most is that the ones who have left are the ones who most need to hear it. Such is always the way, I suppose. But being skeptical about what the government says never stays put. People immediately find some other source to believe instead, and they stop applying the same skepticism. They believe someone who claims to be the father of the mRNA vaccines (he wasn't) who never goes to a forum where he is challenged. They believe a nursing instructor in England - not a bad one, but not a #1 source. They believe the predictable scare stories that it's all going to affect your reproduction system somehow. To be fair on that one, lots of things can affect menstrual cycles, but it's usually temporary and minor and does not impact fertility. They start treating all "experts" as if they are taking orders from the government, rather than independent researchers gradually arriving at similar answers. They believed rumors about people dying from vaccines - sometimes thousands of them - and somehow all the doctors in the world decided to cover that up and enter different causes of death on the certificates. Because the hospitals got $3K each for those patients, they heard.
I heard some of this nonsense from my own children. At least the Romanians have an excuse for a little paranoia.
I have a post started on safety and risk, but I have waited on it trying to check myself and my own motives.
But this is what happens when skeptics panic. Your local hospital did not go hysterical, even when it took some precautions that turned out to be unnecessary, like making sure no one shared pens. Well, the hospitals did sometimes get close to hysterical, when their ICUs were overflowing and they couldn't keep enough ER staff, going on into months. Nerves fray. But it was the skeptics that panicked and stopped thinking. Not everyone believed all the crap ideas, but lots of people needed to demonstrate that they were at least somewhat skeptical. It was a point of honor. Yeah, you can't take them in. They're too smart for that. Did they fear the social pressure of the opinions of friends, or of their opinions of themselves, of the Type of Person I Am? It has been cool to be a skeptic in many places.
My really ugly fear is that this was a dry run for a much more dangerous epidemic - because we have seen how one can spread in this interconnected world, and slowing things down until we get a vaccine may be the only real strategy - but we learned all the wrong lessons.