Yes, it’s true that we all interpret situations differently. Your perceptions are how you view the world around you, but perceptions are not always based on facts. A perception is by definition—a way of understanding something, a mental impression. Perceptions may or may not be based on facts and perceptions may or may not be real. A perception is simply what a person thinks, but when perceptions come from misinformation, false claims, or just plain lies, then those perceptions are as wrong as the misinformation and lies from which they were drawn.
Anti-Mask And Anti-Vaccine Mandates Kill
One of the most damaging maneuvers in the misinformation wars over COVID comes straight out of the governor’s office. I’ll even use my home state of Texas as an example because we have one of the worst. Governor Abbott has mandated that it’s against the law for anyone, large or small business, public or private school, or whatever to have a vaccine mandate.
Governor Abbott’s mandates are not about freedom of choice. No, they are about Governor Abbott’s desperate attempt to improve his rating in the upcoming election for governor. Yes, he’s behind in the polls.
As Christian Menefee, a Harris County Texas attorney stated, Governor Abbott’s executive order banning vaccine mandates “strips away choice.”
Governor Abbott and other politicians like him claim that they’re giving citizens the right to choose for themselves and their children. They claim that they are allowing each person to choose whether they want to wear a mask or be vaccinated. But that isn’t true.
The governor’s mandate does not allow me, if I were a small business owner, the right to choose whether I want my business to mandate vaccines and masks. The governor has taken away my rights, my freedom, my ability to choose.
Governor Abbott is creating his own mandate; unfortunately, the governor’s mandate encourages coronavirus to continue spreading and killing people, even children.
Politicians, like Governor Abbott, are not standing up for your right of personal choice. This is not about freedom. Instead, they’re taking away the right of personal choice, unless you happen to agree with them. Under Governor Abbott’s mandate, you are only allowed to choose, if you choose what he wants you to choose. In some countries, that is referred to as a dictatorship.
If we allow mandates like Governor Abbott’s to dictate our actions, then COVID-19 will continue to spread and kill even more innocent children, parents, and evenly seemingly healthy young people. Instead, we need mandates that save lives. Vaccine mandates save lives. Mask mandates save lives. Standing on the street corner shouting "freedom" does not. Having governors pass anti-vaccine mandates to improve their chances of reelection will not save lives.
I try to stay out of politics. I leave the political writing to my husband.
Bill’s Post: "It’s All About Control:" Conservative Persuasion and Public Health
However, political problems have marched right into the classroom and are interfering with education. I’m a psychologist. I work with children who are struggling and failing in reading because we have found that reading failure can totally change a child’s life and not for the better. That is why I developed a program, and I work to help struggling students learn to read. We’ve been quite successful. We’ve had failing students move up four grade levels in reading in just one year, but now politics is getting in the way.
Reading Wars are Over! Phonics Failed. Whole Language Failed. Balanced Literacy Failed. Who Won? It Certainly Wasn’t the Students.
What Should You Do When Your Perceptions and Ideas Hurt Others?
Vaccine mandates and masks save lives. It’s been proven over and over.
For the facts, read: COVID-19 Misinformation and Lies Are Killing Young People
We are hopefully within weeks of having an approved COVID vaccine for children 5 to 12 years old. If distributed, the COVID vaccine would make life so much safer for children in the classroom. Yet, the protests have already begun.
Yes, I know we frequently have protests when any new health or safety measure is first introduced. I’m old enough to remember when seatbelts were not standard equipment on cars. Yes, I remember people taking razor blades and cutting seatbelts out of cars or stuffing them down behind the seats where they were out of the way. Yet, the sole function of seatbelts is to save your life and the lives of those who are riding in the car with you. Yet, people screamed and yelled, “No one’s going to tell me to wear a seat belt.” “That thing’s uncomfortable, I’m not wearing that.” Yes, these are direct quotes and people really did cut seatbelts out of cars. It was not until the federal government made seatbelts mandatory and started handing out tickets when people didn’t comply that seatbelts became accepted. It didn’t matter that seatbelts had been proven to save lives. It was political. It was a matter of choice. The government was depriving people of their freedom not to wear seatbelts and to die in an automobile accident.
Today, it seems we are in reruns. Once again, we are fighting against the government’s desire to save lives. It seems that the federal government is trying to save people’s lives and stop COVID from spreading and killing more people.
We have a vaccine that is saving lives. It has been proven over and over that it is saving lives and that the majority of people who are still dying from COVID-19 are those who are not vaccinated. Yet, the protests are growing.
If a person’s perceptions have been distorted by what they’ve read on the internet and social media, heard on the radio, or seen on TV, then a person may not believe or accept the truth concerning the coronavirus pandemic. A person may have developed distorted perceptions of COVID-19 and may be functioning on those distorted perceptions. Unfortunately, it is very hard to convince someone that their perceptions are wrong, especially when politics enters the picture.
Children Are Dying
Nicole Sperry stood beside her 10 year old daughter’s hospital bed and watched her die of COVID-19. Teresa was an excellent student, loved to read, and was always kind to others. The Sperry family chose to be fully vaccinated, always wear a mask, follow social distancing rules, and other safety guidelines. The two youngest children were not eligible for vaccines but wore masks at all times.
Parents in the neighborhood were fighting mask rules at school, saying children were not in danger. As a matter of fact, while Teresa lay dying, there were parents speaking at the Chesapeake Public School District meeting claiming that the pandemic was over.
Two days after Teresa died, her mother went to the next school board meeting and said,
"My message for you and all that are listening is that Covid is not over, no matter what people who have been standing up here have said…. On September 27, during the last meeting, there were parents or concerned citizens that voiced misinformation to you. They said that Covid is basically over and that healthy people do not die. When they were sharing this information, their opinions, the fact was, I was sitting next to my healthy daughter’s deathbed. She died five days after showing symptoms. I am sure they were speaking to what they’ve experienced, but they are wrong. Apart from a broken bone in her arm when she was younger, Teresa was a healthy 10-year-old social and happy girl, who never had the flu or even an ear infection…. Children are getting Covid and they’re getting it at schools…. [We need to] do everything that we can to protect our children….”
Nicole Sperry said that she hoped by sharing her daughter’s story that she would encourage other parents to get their children vaccinated and encourage everyone to wear a mask.
Are You Vaccinated? Are You Wearing A Mask?
You may not only save your own life, but you may save the life of an innocent child. Don’t fall victim to misinformation or political games. Political mandates based on misinformation can kill.
Why Do People Fear the Vaccine More Than COVID-19? The Perception of Control
Photo: copyright Elaine Clanton Harpine