I’ve been watching the various groups get convinced to get vaccinated against the coronavirus over the last few months. I personally didn’t need convincing. I got vaccinated as soon as they let me. One day I got a text and I replied YES to accept the appointment time. The day could not have been more inconvenient – it was the day of the auction of the assets of my manufacturing company – but I thought getting vaccinated was more urgent and important than my financial future. For me, the activity met the criteria that set it above any possible procrastination. Anyway, I’ve already been vaccinated against the mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, flu and probably more. What’s one more shot? (Note to self – get the shingles vaccine)
There are people who need more motivation, though. Friends and family and neighbors and co-workers have been prodding and convincing them, but while that increases the importance of getting a vaccine, it does nothing for the urgency of getting a vaccine – so it’s not very effective. For a few people, a free beer seemed to be the tipping point, but not too many people fell for that, either. Biden came out and made a statement about doing it for your fellow man but most people’s worldviews are small and don’t include most other people and so that had only a nominal impact. But when college students were required to have the vaccine in order to attend class, the result was different. The importance of getting vaccinated to the college student hit the core of their identity and made it very important and personal. The first day of class deadline created the urgency needed so they mostly all did it when they had to. Now we are seeing teachers, nurses, police, fire fighters, EMT’s, bus drivers and many more public facing workers with the same dilemma. Are you ready to give up calling yourself an officer of the law or a fire fighter or a medical technician or a teacher by not following the rules? If so, maybe you’re in the wrong field anyway.
The point is: the more important and urgent and personal a behavior becomes, the more likely someone will do it. It doesn’t matter why they resist getting a vaccination. When it becomes important, urgent and personal to get one, they will do it. So how can we get the rest of the people to get vaccinated? Well, this won’t be popular (and I’m not necessarily advocating it), but if we revoke their citizenship – that would work. Many people’s identities are wrapped in the flag more so than their jobs, so it’s personal. Losing citizenship means they would lose their rights like voting, gun toting, a US passport and a real job – of course they would still have to pay taxes – so it’s important. Putting a date on it makes it urgent. Also, losing their citizenship would, in a karmic turn of events, make them “illegals” and ICE could round them up and lock them in cages or send them over the wall. Did I mention that I’m not advocating this?