When I was first presented with the opportunity to get vaccinated for COVID-19, I hesitated. At the time, I was delivering wine in NYC on Mondays. Going door to door, giving booze to people who were often not wearing masks. Yet I still hesitated. First, I thought others needed it more than me. Then, for a brief moment, I was scared of what it might do to me or my then-pregnant wife. Luckily, these thoughts and feelings were dashed away, and I am now fully vaccinated and have been for over a month.
There are others, like me, who were or are uncertain about getting the vaccine and it could cause some roadblocks as far as getting things back to normal is concerned. To help this, at least a little, John Oliver devoted most of the newest episode of Last Week Tonight to dispelling rumors and myths about the vaccine. It’s a classic Oliver deep dive with all the passion and research and humor that makes his show great.
If this segment had existed when I first was given the chance to be vaccinated, I likely wouldn’t have hesitated. Could I have looked some of these things up myself? Yes. In fact, I did look up quite a few of the topics discussed here, but I still had that nagging feeling. Are there people out there whose minds will not be changed by this video? Also yes. Oliver explains that, in his team’s research, they found most people don’t want to learn about these things through celebrities or politicians. What’s important here is not just the video but the information presented in it.
Just the other day I was talking to a family member about the vaccine. They were having a hard time articulating to their friends why the vaccine was important and helpful. They asked if I had any advice in explaining it to others, and I had nothing. It can be hard to put into words (though I landed on “tell them if they don’t want it, it means they lack basic empathy” and I stand by that). Oliver offers talking points and information that will be useful to anyone trying to convince a friend who is “on the fence” as it were.
We’re so close to getting back to normal I can taste it. But let’s be honest, not everyone will listen to reason. I hate to end on a down note but it’s true. True as it may be, that doesn’t mean we don’t try.
Header Image Source: HBO