Think of those scenes from a samurai movie or anime where he is practicing his sword forms in an orchard and the cherry blossoms are swirling around him on the breeze. Yesterday morning, as the sun was rising but the shadows were still long, I was practicing taiji alone on the tennis court (yes, we have a tennis court here at OCC *smile*). At one end of the court is one of the two trees on the yard that bloom. This one had been full of clusters of small white flowers which were now raining down in the light morning breeze. As I meditatively flowed through the form, the petals rolled across the court in waves on the breeze. In the serenity of that moment, I forgot where I was.

Last Thursday, I received my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. For 24-36 hours I had a pretty strong reaction: fever, aches, and headaches. I slept, or tried to sleep, through most of the time. After I recovered, I was getting some flack from an anti-vaxxer in my room so I announced to the room that they were welcome. I had suffered so they would be safer. That silenced the anti-vaxxer. *chuckle*

There was also a really good episode of This American Life that dealt with the Republican resistance to getting vaccinated. It was called The Elephant in the Zoom because it was about a focus group of Republicans done over Zoom. *chuckle* A particularly persuasive point was made in response to the focus group’s fear of long term effects of the vaccine. Though there is no long term study of the side effects of the vaccines, any side effects would be far less serious and less common than the already apparent potential long term effects of catching even a mild case of Covid19.

The real persuasion though only happened when former Gov. Christy told the story of him catching Covid while prepping Trump for the presidential first presidential debate. There were 7 people in the room and 6 caught it even though they were all tested daily, in the most secure place in the world, and after him and Trump, the next most severe case was Hope-Hicks (I think that’s who he said) who jogged daily and was in her late 30s, so in prime health. The personal story seemed to connect with people and move them the most.

Much like happened in Israel. The Orthodox jews were ardent anti-vaxxers. The government engaged someone from the community to figure out a strategy to overcome the resistance. They sat many Orthodox rabbis down with medical experts to present the data and facts and convinced them to come out in support of vaccines but that didn’t change many people’s opinions. They waged a poster war, covering up anti-vaxx poster with pro-vacc posters on a daily bases but that wasn’t what moved the masses. What finally changed peoples minds was when a young healthy Orthodox woman, a mother of 4, died from Covid leaving her children motherless. Her husband went on a media campaign urging people to get vaccinated to avoid leaving their children without a parent like his were. Emotion will motivate people far better than any logic, data, or expert.

Where is the American fundamentalist family that has lost someone and is willing to tell others about their loss?