Mike Buffington's editorial of Oct 27 asking the question; "Why are we so Anti-Vaxx?" was thought provoking and full of interesting facts and opinions. It was a good synopsis of what has happened. Good work.
You are correct, in my opinion, that most of the opposition and reluctance is in the taking of the COVID shots, and not to the standard school vaccinations that are tested, tried and true. You nailed that one. But now to answer the question:
You speculate that this opposition results...." from social media misinformation and all kinds of crazy anti vaccine stuff online, most of it false." You also posit that the local conservative politics and preachers could have some influence on the vaccine reluctance.
Have you fairly examined some of that "misinformation" or listened to any of those preachers? What if a lot of that" misinformation" has a sound scientific and factual basis and those preachers are right and properly caring for their flock.
You state, correctly I believe, "Once people set their beliefs in place, changing those beliefs becomes difficult." Mark Twain said; "It's easier to fool people than to convince them they've been fooled." And when people bet their health on a largely untested, newly invented "vaccine" that they are told is safe and effective in treating an ailment that 99 percent of people survive anyway, without any treatment, then those vaccinated people really dig their heels in rather than admit to themselves they might have been misled and manipulated.
In the future, some will want to attribute the high incidence of unusual and rare medical problems among the vaccinated as being caused by a new form of the virus. Another booster needed, please.
Likely the blame for the transmission of the infection will be placed on those of us thankfully unvaccinated. Especially that bunch up in Banks County. Go Leopards.
(Buffington responds: You are correct that "most people" do survive Covid. But that broad statistic doesn't reflect how deadly it is for certain groups of people who have underlying conditions or are older. Locally, some 200 Jackson Countians have died of Covid over the past 18 months. That's a lot of people to die from one disease in a short period of time. Statistically, those who are vaccinated become less sick than the unvaccinated, a fact that is said over and over by area hospitals who are on the front lines of dealing with the disease. For those of us over age 60, getting vaccinated is just common sense. Also, I would argue that the vaccine isn't really "newly-invented" as you suggest. The underlying technology has been around for a longer time and was ready to pursue before Covid hit. If you want to argue that statically Covid isn't killing many people, then you also have to argue that statically the vaccines do prevent deaths and are safe.)