I don't have any answers.

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I don't have any answers.

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One of the more grueling things to come out of the pandemic, for me at least, has been to watch my family fall prey to misinformation and fear-mongering. When the vaccines started coming out, my family refused to get them. I felt like I couldn't get them without causing an upset in my family. I figured that, since I am an online student and I rarely leave the house, it was okay if I didn't get vaccinated, but really the only reason I didn't was because I was afraid of my family's anger. I felt like I had no choice, to be honest. It's a horrible feeling.

In addition, my mother convinced my grandparents that getting the COVID vaccine booster shot is pointless, because people who are vaccinated are still getting COVID. Even though from what I understand, this only happens in very rare cases. She also tried to scare me out of getting the vaccine by claiming that women who get it experience irregular menstruation, a sign of infertility, or sharing news stories of people who had allergic reactions, got sick from the shot, etc. I cannot adequately describe my sheer frustration with this attitude of thinking they know better than doctors.

A month ago, my mother noticed a strange purchase listed on one of our bills. She called my father and learned that he had purchased Ivermectin, a drug normally given to horses, because he had read something on the Internet about how it could be used to treat COVID. People have been overdosing on this stuff and it makes them extremely sick or could even kill them. We were able to convince my father to return his purchase, but my mother heard from her chiropractor (a very strange and eccentric man, in my opinion) that his wife, a licensed doctor or nurse, had been giving her elderly father small dosages of Ivermectin to treat COVID, and that it had supposedly worked. She asked me if I thought she should tell my father this. I said no, because I don't think he understands the difference between a licensed medical professional doing something and a person with no medical training attempting to do the same.

Having said all this, I also must admit that I do not know who or what to believe. Do I put by absolute faith and trust in anyone who is labeled an "expert"? Well, no. Experts are human, and they are not immune to mistakes. So part of me does understand people wanting to take matters into their own hands, because they feel like the only person they can completely trust is themselves. I just wish more common sense was used and more people were able to grasp nuances, I guess. Is that the experts' fault for not being clear enough, or is it the people's fault for not understanding? I don't have any answers. I don't think anyone does.

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This item was submitted on October 1, 2021 by Amanda Norman using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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