Carrots and Sticks

27 May

The ongoing push to get people vaccinated in the US shows a lot of incentives, which are not working as well as they hoped. I’m not interested in the pros/cons of vaccination, but rather in how the government pushes for compliance.

Even before the epidemic, there was a growing number of “anti-vaxxers,” people who were more concerned with the side effects of the drugs (usually autism) versus the prevention of the disease. However, they were a small minority, and most people tended to ignore them, some were just more cautious about how they got vaccinated. When I used to work in hospitals, I was required to have my flu shot every year, and since I tended to get more sick almost every year, I frequently forged the paperwork to make it look like I had it.

So I sympathize with those who have questions about the vaccine. The government screwed up their COVID response from the beginning. Instead of telling people, “we need our limited supply of masks for hospitals,” they said, “masks don’t work.” Then they do work. Now the government says, “vax up for safety,” at the same time, “keep wearing masks even if you’re vaccinated.” Then “it’s okay to be maskless if you’re vaccinated.” Good job following the science, guys!

So I’ve seen highway signs, billboards, print ads, video ads, radio ads, all saying “get vaccinated.” They’ve appealed to your sense of social responsibility. They’ve appealed to getting back to normal. They’ve appealed to your health. And they’ve achieved 50% compliance throughout the US.

Some people are lauding this achievement; so many more are yelling at “why isn’t it going faster?” Looking at the CDC’s Vaccination Trends, they’re still getting just under 2 million doses per day. That’s pretty good. But it’s obvious that everyone who wanted a shot has gotten one. That’s not good enough for many authorities. My own company will not let us take off our masks in our building until we hit a higher level (currently at 37%). They’re giving people free sandwiches to get vaccinated, they’re giving them discounts, even paying them!

We’ve been beaten with the stick of mandatory masking and limited business contact for over a year. However, with all the carrots to get vaccinated, it was only last week that someone suggested to the CDC that maybe people didn’t like wearing masks. For me, that’s the big incentive. The places I go have been open for sometime, limited or not, so that’s not been an issue. If I could show a pin and it says “I don’t need to wear a mask,” then I would get it. But we get back to why the government initially told people not to wear a mask… “we don’t trust you.” People would be wearing fake pins by the end of the day. They did come up with vaccine passports, but that has privacy violation issues that would be easily shot down in most federal courts… and can also be easily faked.

So at some point, the government push to vaccinate has to either trust the people they claim to serve or stop pretending to care. But I could be too bitter about this issue–what do you think? Is the PSA marketing push making a difference? Is everyone who wanted to be vaccinated actually vaccinated? Should they give it up? Let me know in the comments below. Then if want something other than doom and gloom, check out one of my books. However, if $1.99 is too steep for your cheery disposition, go ahead and download one of my stories for free. You’ll be glad you did.

3 Responses to “Carrots and Sticks”

  1. joliesattic May 27, 2021 at 9:47 am #

    I so get this!!! I got my shots because I drive for Uber, but even though I qualified months ago, I just completed my second one yesterday. I hated doing it, but I did it. I figured, though that I’m 74, due to be 75. If I die tomorrow or in 5 years or whatever, my days on this earth to begin with are not that long, so why not? I caved… but… I’m in total agreement with your assessment. I don’t know if you’ve noticed another thing new. But more businesses are posting “help wanted” in their windows. With all the handouts and “free” money (we working people know who’s paying), no one wants to work! Unemployment checks and stimulus checks are tearing us apart. Before long, we will be a third world country and that’s how the government likes it. You can’t control a self sufficient society!!

  2. ShiraDest May 27, 2021 at 10:03 am #

    “…just under 2 million doses per day. That’s pretty good. ”

    true, and more and deeper education is the key, imho, to Kindness for All of us.
    In Service to HumanKind,
    -Shira

  3. iFlyMSP July 16, 2021 at 12:11 pm #

    Trust the people? I think not. Trusting the people has caused too many deaths, and continues to do so. Now that we have 99.5% of the current deaths being people who are not vaccinated, I say, if you want to die, go ahead. The “government”, in my mind, has done a stellar job trying to protect us and save lives. Thank goodness for the Biden experts who should have been brought on board months earlier during the previous “administration”.

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