I chose to take the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (and a booster shot) because I believed that the benefits outweighed the risks and that it would help me return to life as normal. Yet, a new poll shows that many of my “boosted” peers remain deeply, baselessly paranoid about COVID-19.
Morning Consult COVID Poll
Morning Consult surveyed Americans on how concerned they currently are about catching COVID and then reported the results by vaccine status. Their findings are… quite something.
For one, the vaccinated fear COVID more than the unvaccinated. This is illogical, because the vaccines, while they don’t stop infection, have been repeatedly shown to vastly reduce one’s risk of serious illness and death. But it’s not too surprising, because it can be explained by the fact that the groups of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated self-select for people who take COVID seriously and those who don’t.
What’s really bizarre is the absolutely unhinged levels of fear and worry still plaguing vaccinated and boosted Americans. An astounding 68 percent of these respondents were still concerned about getting COVID within the next year. Only 6 percent said they were “not at all” concerned.
this is pretty remarkable pic.twitter.com/yDF6mPqfvB
— Kat Rosenfield (@katrosenfield) January 25, 2022
Even the New York Times Admits This is Nuts
Even the New York Times’ David Leonhardt labeled this a “remarkable disconnect between perception and reality.”
“A majority of the boosted say they are worried about getting sick from COVID,” he writes. “In truth, riding in a car presents more danger to most of them than the virus does.”
Still, why is this finding so alarming? Well, the truth is that vaccinated people have very little to fear from COVID-19. In fact, the fully vaccinated are more likely to die from bee stings than they are from COVID-19. So, millions of Americans are living under unwarranted paranoia—and, many of them are pushing it onto others by clamoring for more government restrictions and mandates.
Why? Well, alarmist media coverage and doomsday rhetoric from politicians are most likely to blame. And it’s a really serious problem.
Why Unhinged Fear is So Problematic
As Dune author Frank Hebert famously observed, fear is a “mind virus.” It clouds our ability to weigh costs and benefits and make rational decisions. Fear is how we end up with moms locking their COVID-positive children in the trunk of their car. Fear is how we end up with Boston classrooms opening their windows in 20-degree weather and freezing children. Fear is how we end up with delayed cancer screenings, mental health crises, and record-level drug overdoses.
That so many Americans are living in such a nonfactual state of alarmism is, in of and itself, a threat to public health.