Fear-mongering is NOT Leadership

This week, I spoke to a health care provider who wriggled me into engaging them about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

She told me a story about a healthy young woman who came into her clinic this week, and she has five children. The provider asked this healthy woman, "Have you been vaccinated?" The woman replied that she had not. The provider then told me that she said to the woman, "Well, who is going to take care of your children when you die of COVID?"

When. She used the word when.

She said the woman got a fearful look on her face and agreed to get vaccinated.

The provider when went on about the irresponsibility of people who choose not to be vaccinated.

Let's get some clarity.

According to a Google search that I did just this minute, their statistics from the New York Times show that there have been a total number of 37.7 million COVID cases in America.

There are 328.2 million people in America as of 2019.

Please someone do the math for me on this, because my calculator is showing that this is a very small percentage of Americans who have even tested positive with a case of COVID. That is all cases.

Less than 12% of Americans have tested positive for COVID. Many, many of those people had mild symptoms.

The same source states that of those 37.7 million cases, there have been 628k deaths. That is less than 2% of cases ending in death. Not 2% of Americans dying. Only 0.19% of Americans have died of COVID.

So to state, with the authority of a medical professional, to a patient that their children will be uncared for when she dies of COVID is disgusting fear-mongering.

If you are concerned about getting COVID, then who am I to argue? If you want to get vaccinated, I applaud your freedom of choice. But if you live in absolute fear of illness or death because people provide statistics outside of context to manipulate you into emotional reactions and instill you with fear, then I feel sad for you.

Resorting to managing people through fear is the lowest and most desperate way to persuade. Worthwhile ideas don't require fear to gain traction.

I am absolutely disgusted by the leadership we are seeing from the very top leaders in this country (and the world) down to single health care providers working one on one with patients to scare them into making decisions. It is grotesque. Whatever your opinion on COVID, politics, or this vaccine, you should be disgusted by these tactics as well.

But most people will not be. I read an article on CNN recently advising people to scare or shame their unvaccinated friends and family into getting vaccinated. It's like they got this out of some kind of historical playbook....