As a Democrat social worker who helps abused and traumatized children and adolescents, I have seen firsthand the problems associated with Covid-19 vaccine bullying. It has gotten out of hand.
People who refuse to roll up their sleeves are unfairly vilified. Now that the vaccine has become the new status symbol, the people who are accused of not following the “science” are put down and stigmatized.
The Shakespearean tragedy that plagued Hamlet has morphed into the unreasonable polemic of “have you or have you not” gotten the Covid vaccine, let alone the booster. The politicization of optional medical treatment is severely affecting my patients.
The debate over the vaccines is dividing friends and families. It is also dividing kids. Many parents have chosen not to get their children vaccinated, for any number of reasons, and the children are suffering because of how people treat them as a result.
My colleagues and I frequently encounter unvaccinated kids who describe being ostracized by both their peers and teachers. While speaking to my supervisor last week, she talked to me about many instances of kids being shunned in the classroom and on the playground. I have personally dealt with several young patients in tears over not being included.
The pandemic has made enemies among us. It has polarized friendships and put politics in the way of relationships. Families who choose not to get vaccinated are rumored to not believe in science. They are labeled delusional anti-vaxxers. At a time mental health is a serious and growing concern in the United States, the polemics over the coronavirus vaccines are harming children in more ways than people realize.
A lot of children are entering school for the first time and don’t know what it’s like to be in the classroom without a mask. Now children don’t know what it’s like to not be shunned due to their family’s beliefs about the vaccines.
What we do know is that childhood and adolescence are pivotal times for social and emotional development. The Covid-19 lockdowns, the developed vaccines, and people’s reactions to the vaccines have intensified the problems facing children in the United States.
What we are witnessing with children is mirrored in adulthood. One of my clients, a nurse in a hospital, has had to change jobs twice due to not getting the vaccine. She is afraid of having to find another job should a mandate pass.
The fear of being a social pariah is one of the reasons I got the vaccine. I argued with friends and relatives that natural immunity is a real thing and that wearing a mask decreases oxygen levels in your brain. Many people agree with me, like functional wellness doctors who bolstered their own health with NAC, Quercetin, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, and other immune boosters.
Like the children I see at work, I felt bullied by my circle of friends and peers to get vaccinated. Vaccinating our children is a personal choice and not a political one.
While I have always voted blue, I don’t agree with the line in the sand that Democrats have drawn around the morality of getting these vaccines. The argument that not getting the vaccine is unethical, which results in bullying, is an unfair characterization of every person’s freedom. Democrats’ rationale that refusing the vaccine is selfish falls flat due to the questions lurking about the vaccines.
While the vaccines are available for children five and up, there are no studies tracing long-term effects due to their experimental nature. The vaccine is not a sure way to avoid getting Covid-19 or death.
In fact, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) has tracked more than 20,000 post-vaccination deaths and 946,000 post-vaccination adverse events since last December. The United Kingdom’s Yellow Card system has tracked more than 1,800 deaths post-vaccination and 400,000 adverse event reports. These statistics alone validate those who are skeptical about vaccines and don’t want their kids getting them. Can you blame them?
School-aged children are being vaccinated by parents to claim to believe in science, while unvaccinated children are being maliciously targeted. Kids I meet with are uncomfortable about talking honestly about the vaccine and whether they have gotten shots. They are afraid.
Bullying has long-term psychological and emotional effects. We need to ask ourselves if an experimental vaccine is imperative for children.
But we also need to ask ourselves if the end justifies the means. Is peer pressuring our children worth the psychological harm? I don’t think so.