The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –
On December 28, 2021, the Tennessee Department of Health posted an infographic highlighting their updated recommendations for prevention of COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.
Along with the infographic, the TDOH posted the text, “The best way to prevent the spread of this new variant or any other variant is to get vaccinated, get a booster if you are eligible, and wear a mask in indoor public settings or in crowded environments.”
The post prompted hundreds of comments from Tennesseans that, by and large, reacted negatively to the post.
In a broad sampling of the comments, it appears that no less than 90% of commenters reacted negatively.
Many expressed that they do not believe that the vaccine is an effective preventative measure against the virus and its variants.
Eddie Guinn wrote, “It doesn’t stop the spread…see cruise ships, Navy ships, the White House staff, Vanderbilt Hospital – all vaxed and all spreading to one another…”
Others cited their own personal experiences with catching the virus after being fully vaccinated and receiving the booster.
Denise Beeler wrote, “I’ve had both and the booster and was positive for COVID. I wouldn’t say I regret the vaccine because I do believe in vaccinations and hope that my symptoms were minimized by it. But people need to stop thinking vaccines are a cure and they would be 100% immune to a virus that mutates like the flu.”
Jamie Parrish wrote, “I got the shots and still got covid, as did my mom. The nurse that tested me said at least I wouldn’t die.”
Karen Boyles James wrote, “I’m fully vaccinated, tested positive on Monday. Loss of taste and smell today, I feel horrible!”
However, the smaller percentage of commenters who reacted positively to the post were equally certain in their beliefs.
Rosa Martinez wrote, “We have a good weapon and it is the vaccine. After two years of this horrible virus, the vaccinated are not dying or going to the hospital, unless they have a morbid disease. I agree with Trump, he was very clear, he and his family are vaccinated.”
Sarah Henning wrote, “Why don’t people understand the difference between data and anecdotes? I can’t believe after all these deaths and all these people whose lungs will be Swiss cheese for life, that some people think it’s just a cold. Maybe that’s all it felt like for you. That’s not what it felt like for the 823,000 Americans who are DEAD.”
The comments also revealed that many people have lost faith in mainstream media and are turning to other sources for information on the virus.
Julie Pieper-Hemmings cited the European Journal of Epidemiology, which she claims stated that the higher the vaccination rate in a given area, the higher the COVID case rate.
With the exception of the small percentage that reacted positively to the post, an overall theme is that the majority of Tennesseans have lost trust in the health department, the CDC and the federal government regarding the virus.
The group TN Parents addressed the TN Department of Health by stating, “If you read your comment section, it looks like you’ve lost faith from your taxpayers. It’s only a matter of time before you’ve lost funding from us as well. #JustSayNo to experimental shots/drugs and peer pressure from a department of health practicing arbitrary power.”
Linda Swinford Kimbro wrote, “Seems like the health department is watching movie star Fauci way too much…”
Fredia Singleton wrote, “…I DO NOT TRUST our “Health Officials” anymore! Period!”
Richard Edwards wrote, “ENOUGH WITH YOUR LIES. STOP BEING A BIDEN PUPPET. I hope the governor removes whoever is in charge here from office.”
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The sentiments of the social media commenters is reflected by Tennessee’s vaccination rates which, at the publication of this article, stand at a little over half of the population at 51.4% being fully vaccinated. Arkansas follows closely behind at 51.2%, Georgia at 51.1%, Louisiana at 50.3%, Mississippi at 48.1%, Alabama at 47.6%, Wyoming 47.5% and Idaho at 46.2%.
Roughly 1.1 Million Tennesseans have received the booster, amounting to an estimated 16% of the population.
About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career. Most recently, he served as Deputy Directory for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History. Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com