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    • #30757

      As most of the world deals with the Omicron variant in our fight against COVID-19, vaccines continue to be our best line of defense per the CDC and other medical bodies around the world. I’m sure we can all identify someone in our professional or personal lives who is against vaccinations, as they tend to be very loud in their opinion about this issue.

      As a patient living with IPF who is at high risk of complications from COVID, their opinions are starting to bother me. I try to respect that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however getting out of this pandemic is going to be a collective and global effort (more on the need for a global vaccine strategy another day!)

      I wrote this column back in August, prior to Omicron, on handling controversial conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine as a chronically ill patient. I wanted to share it with you to obtain your thoughts!

      How are you handling controversial conversations about the vaccine in your personal or professional lives?

      Do you have any tips for those of us who (like me!) are frustrated by these conversations?

    • #30764
      Paul B ~ Lakeland

      When I drive on the Intersate and get stuck in stop-and-go traffic, I realize that I am part of the problem. When I take an exit, the problem is a little less for the others.

      I try to ‘live and let live,’ meaning I try not to get upset by things out of my control, and let others do whatever they have a right to do – even if, in my opinion, it is wrong.  In person, I try to acknowledge others’ stance without engaging in argument. Do I want to be right, or do I want to be happy?

      I believe this attitude helps me maintain some measure of inner peace which I also believe, helps my overall health stay as strong as possible.

      • #30806

        Hi Paul,

        I really like this perspective, thanks for sharing. Oftentimes we think of others at the ‘problem’ or the opinion that’s wrong, but when we factor ourselves into that equation it can really lead to a lot more happiness and inner peace, as you say. Being happy is much more important than being right no doubt, especially in our circumstance.
        Thanks for sharing and be well,

    • #30766
      Christie Patient

      I wish I had the answers, but I do not. I feel much like you and I am exhausted with trying to engage with anyone who buys into conspiracy theories and anti-science rhetoric. And before I get accused of taking sides or whatever, I know that this blanket stereotype does not apply to all people who are not vaccinated. I respect certain reasons for not wanting to get vaccinated. But of the folks I know who have those loud opinions that you mentioned, I’ve found it utterly pointless to engage in discourse. Even beginning a conversation with “this is not a conversation about politics. it is a conversation about medical science and my personal experience of caring for someone with a compromised immune system.” only resulted in the other party bringing me to tears and being completely unwilling to listen to what I had to say. After that experience, when someone who I loved and trusted was so cruel and unwavering, I don’t have it in me to try again.

    • #30778
      Paul Swanson

      I tell them you can have your own opinion but not your own facts.If you take the time to do some fact finding you will if nothing else be more educated .

      • #30784

        I like your approach to these difficult conversations Paul. Thanks for sharing!

      • #30787
        Christie Patient

        I like that too. I just hope that they end up researching from reputable sources 🙂

    • #30807
      john styles

      I ignore the ignorant and try to understand the different views, I do not engage with people who for one reason or another do not believe in the Science. Personally I had one of my tenants son die form Covid due to being unvaccinated and watched a serial person who posted about not getting vaccinated and they got covid, that seems to have quieted them.  There will always be people with different opinions and I have accepted that.  Recently I thought of the song ” no where to run, nowhere to hide” after I walked into the assisted living center my 98 year old Mother is in and the first occupant we met said she had a sore throat and the the director had covid, came home and my yard man said he was sick then my daughter called who I had dinner with 2 nights before to tell me her friend she had dinner with 2 nights prior now had covid. I started humming the song from 1960s. On a positive note I watch the Israel covid news because they are two months ahead of USA with the Pfizer vaccine.

      • #30828

        Hi John,

        So nice to hear from you – thanks for writing!
        Like you, I try to understand the different views but it’s really hard and my self-preservation strategy is definitely to ignore the ignorant, even though that is becoming difficult 😉 Thanks for sharing how you manage these people and their opinions and I’m sorry to hear you had someone you know die of COVID, that’s always scary.
        Take care and keep in touch.

    • #30873
      David Ota

      After 32 years of marriage (to the same woman 🙂  I have learned, like Paul B, I would rather be happy than right.  I was not always this way, but age, IPF, then a Lung Transplant have taken the vinegar out of my soul.  These days I save my energy for the Transplant fights I know are coming up, and enjoying life as much as I can. A guy can only do so much in a day.  Everyone IS entitled to their own opinion, no matter how misguided or ignorant.  I do not eat out, go to the movies, or shop in stores these days.  The maskless have driven me underground.  On the whole, my life is better for it.

      • #30906

        Hi David,

        I love the approach I’ve learnt from people after posting this forum topic, “I would rather be happy than right”, so true and important. This is a value lesson to learn at 34 I think, thank you! 🙂

        Best wishes to you always and goodluck in your fight against chronic rejection.


        • #30930
          David Ota


          At 34 I know I was not a “rather be happy than right” kind of guy.  About 10 years ago (50ish) I wrote my rules to live by.  One of them was “Don’t compound childish with stupid and stubborn”.  When I wrote these, it was not to share my wisdom, but instead to remind myself if I continued to act like a fool, my lovely wife would be forced to leave me or kill me.  Neither was an acceptable choice.

        • #30963

          Love it @davidota, thank you for sharing — I’ve learned much “life wisdom” from the many amazing members of this group and I am grateful.

    • #30874
      Paul B ~ Lakeland

      Hi @davidota
      I am sorry you have to go ‘underground.’ I feel that as long as I’m masked and 10 feet away from others, I’m relatively safe. Let me know how it goes. Thanks!
      Paul B.

      • #30932
        David Ota

        Paul B

        Yeah, the Covid Underground is cramping my “Old Man Style”  I have not been to a grocery store in 2 years.  I had planned to start traveling with my wife, but these days, those are confined to driving trips.  I have not flown in 2 years.  I had hoped to take her to Europe for Christmas.  I still plan to, we’ll see.

    • #30908
      john styles

      Talking about vaccine’s, I got my second booster, which is my 4th covid vaccine. Here is US the 4th shot is approved for people with compromised immune systems. I was happy to see on Walgreens questionnaire they added lung disease for people with compromised immune systems. When I am out and about I use pulse oxygen that brings air into the environment  so I do not understand how a mask would benefit me.

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