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Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:02 PM

Faith, Freedom, Fear: Rural America's Covid Vaccine Skeptics

Resistance is widespread in white, Republican communities like this one in Appalachia. But it’s far more complicated than just a partisan divide.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/30/health/covid-vaccine-hesitancy-white-republican.html



GREENEVILLE, Tenn.— “So have you gotten the vaccine yet?” The question, a friendly greeting to Betty Smith, the pastor’s wife, lingered in the air as the four church women sat down for their regular Tuesday coffee and conversation at Ingle’s Market. Mrs. Smith hesitated, sensing a chilly blast of judgment from a never-mask, never-vax companion. She fumbled through a non-reply. Recalling the moment later, she sighed, “We were there to get to know each other better but the first thing on the table was the Covid vaccine.”

The subject makes her husband, the Rev. David Smith, even more uncomfortable. “Honestly, I wish people wouldn’t ask,” he said, chatting after Wednesday night prayer at Tusculum Baptist Church. “I think it’s none of their business. And it’s just dividing people.” As the beautiful Appalachian spring unfurls across northeastern Tennessee, the Covid-19 vaccine is tearing apart friends, families, congregations, colleagues. “It’s a muddy mess,” said Meredith Shrader, a physician assistant, who runs an events venue with her husband, another pastor, and who notes that the choice has become about much more than health care. “Which voice do you listen to?”

Communities like Greeneville and its surroundings — rural, overwhelmingly Republican, deeply Christian, 95 percent white — are on the radar of President Biden and American health officials, as efforts to vaccinate most of the U.S. population enters a critical phase. These are the places where polls show resistance to the vaccine is most entrenched. While campaigns aimed at convincing Black and Latino urban communities to set aside their vaccine mistrust have made striking gains, towns like these will also have to be convinced if the country is to achieve widespread immunity.


Betty Smith and her husband, Pastor David Smith, of Tusculum Baptist Church, worry the vaccine has become a divisive issue in the community.


Downtown Greeneville, population 15,000, the county seat of Greene County, Tenn., in southern Appalachia.


Sunday worship at Old Fashion Gospel House, Bulls Gap, Tenn.

But a week here in Greene County reveals a more nuanced, layered hesitancy than surveys suggest. People say that politics isn’t the leading driver of their vaccine attitudes. The most common reason for their apprehension is fear — that the vaccine was developed in haste, that long-term side effects are unknown. Their decisions are also entangled in a web of views about bodily autonomy, science and authority, plus a powerful regional, somewhat romanticized self-image: We don’t like outsiders messing in our business. According to state health department statistics, 31 percent of the vaccine-eligible population in Greene County has gotten at least one dose of a Covid vaccine, still below Tennessee overall, which has one of the lowest rates in the country, and far below the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national tally of 55 percent. While many older residents have been inoculated, now that eligibility is open to all adults, vaccination sites are almost desolate.

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Reply Faith, Freedom, Fear: Rural America's Covid Vaccine Skeptics (Original post)
Celerity Apr 2021 OP
dawg day Apr 2021 #1
PortTack Apr 2021 #3
Celerity Apr 2021 #7
Celerity Apr 2021 #4
Pobeka Apr 2021 #5
Pobeka Apr 2021 #2
PortTack Apr 2021 #6
Wingus Dingus Apr 2021 #8
tanyev Apr 2021 #9
Celerity Apr 2021 #10
Tomconroy Apr 2021 #11
Celerity Apr 2021 #12
Vogon_Glory Apr 2021 #13
Celerity Apr 2021 #14
Tomconroy Apr 2021 #15
Celerity Apr 2021 #16
Tomconroy Apr 2021 #17
Celerity Apr 2021 #18
Tomconroy Apr 2021 #19

Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:07 PM

1. Once again the media gives way too much attention

To the irrational self-destructive quarter of the populace who simply do not make sense.
Far more people will get vaccinated and wear masks, but the media just is in love with these bitter nutcases.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:10 PM

3. Oh..thank you!! A voice of sanity

This is why I seldom turn any news on anymore

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Response to PortTack (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:16 PM

7. head in the sand is a strange defining of

A voice of sanity


this article is far from a love letter

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Response to dawg day (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:13 PM

4. because those cohorts (the refuseniks) are the ones who'll prevent herd immunity from being reached

I hardly find this article to be

in love with these bitter nutcases


I think that is a very unfair characterisation.

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Response to dawg day (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:13 PM

5. It actually is a big problem, considering new variants.

We may need to get a large fraction of those folks vaccinated to achieve herd immunity against the new variants to protect those who have legitimate reasons to not be vaccinated.

How to convince those folks is another question, I don't know how to do that, I hope someone is actively working on it.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:09 PM

2. It's as if there has been no bioscience for 100 years since the Spanish flu for some people.

... while they go to churches constructed with lumber from mills that use laser guides sawing patterns, drive in cars designed on computers, have computer chips in more devices they use. Just cause they can't see it doesn't mean they can't benefit from the science that improves their lives. But somehow biology is a big no-no to admit science is as applicable there as it is in "hardware".

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Response to Pobeka (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:14 PM

6. Yep..and those cell phones with REAL tracking devices were what brought the dummies down on 1/6

Irony is forever lost!!

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:20 PM

8. Oppositional Defiant Disorder is annoying in kids, destructive in adults.

Keep spreading that virus, you stupid backwoods fucks. Hopefully you'll take yourselves out.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:20 PM

9. How many people in your congregation have died from this, Rev. Smith?

Maybe you should be imploring the still-living to all get vaccinated instead of hiding your head in the sand and wishing they would stop asking about it. Coward.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:25 PM

10. this is another part of the (long) article, it shows the level of madness the US is dealing with




The people of Greene County are emphatically Republican and overwhelmingly Christian.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:41 PM

11. I don't really agree that these people

Can just be dismissed as nut jobs. This vaccine roll out is an unusual thing. The drugs were approved on an emergency basis. Obviously they didn't go through the usual years long testing regime. The CDC hasn't always been consistent in its advice. I don't think it is unusual that some in the country view the vaccine with suspicion.
It is a government program and it's up to the government to persuade people to take the vaccine. I think primary care physicians
should have been given a bigger part in the initial roll out. Maybe there should have been a reach out to community religious leaders
This is a practical problem: persuading people that covid is a threat and that the vaccine is effective and safe. Solving that problem is the obligation of the government just as much as supplying the vaccine.
Just calling people nut jobs doesn't really help


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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 06:53 PM

12. Some of these replies sum up DU in a nutshell

One implied I am posting love letters about nut cases and that media gives them too much attention

And now yours takes the tone of : we should not dismiss them as nut jobs

Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Btw, based on the entirety of the article, I deffo lean to nut jobs, which the article itself never calls them. Their religion (which is intertwined synergistically with suppression, racism, misogyny, homophobia, and hate etc etc as well, but that is outside the purview of my reply) is a fatalistic death cult.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:13 PM

13. These people all claim to be for bodily autonomy when it comes to vaccine BUT

should a woman seek an abortion or try to access birth control, they not only want to ban abortion but monitor every woman’s sex life to keep them toeing their line.

Go figure.

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Response to Vogon_Glory (Reply #13)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:28 PM

14. they will say this (have seen it argued online before by RW xians)

vax
birth control
abortion

all are active interventions by humans (they will of course say man or mankind, as the 'holy vessel' must always be made subservient to the gawd made/ordained 'majesty' and power of the male, especially in cultural-linguistic framings) against gawd's designs As for monitoring our sex lives, that is gawd's commandment and MUST be obeyed.



it is fatalistic death cult lunacy



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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:46 PM

15. I am enough of a child of the 60s

That I think I can accurately quote the Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver by saying "If you aren't part of the solution, then you are part of the problem".
Calling people names because they are hesitant to take the vaccine isn't part of the solution. It is a part of the problem.

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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 07:56 PM

16. as you are replying about the article, please do show me where the article is 'calling them names'

I must say, that you are employing a very novel use of Eldridge Cleaver to defend a group that is mostly (to a vast degree) composed of people who HATED most everything he stood for.

welcome to DU btw

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 08:10 PM

17. I'm not replying to the article.

I am replying to the many posts that followed. I did read somewhere that Eldridge Cleaver's ex-wife said in later life he became a Republican. Who'd have thunk it.
I think that the whole point of the article is that it refused to call people names.

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Response to Tomconroy (Reply #17)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 08:16 PM

18. So reply to the individual posts that you are taking umbrage with. It is not up to OP's to

to shoulder the collective burden of every reply on the tread.

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Response to Celerity (Original post)

Fri Apr 30, 2021, 08:28 PM

19. Well

there were so many replies calling names, including one of yours, I thought a general reply was appropriate. To quote another phrase from the 60s: Peace.

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