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Why some smart people don’t believe in COVID-19. Op-Ed by Ala Tocarciuc


https://ipn.md/public/index.php/en/why-some-smart-people-dont-believe-in-covid-19-7978_1082203.html

How do we protect ourselves from these people who refuse the vaccine? It's a question I've been hearing more and more lately. The answer to this question concerns many of us directly. We will only really be protected when most of the Moldovan population is vaccinated. We come to a crossroads, when the virus is less dangerous than the man, who carries it with him. The virus knows it will live with us for many years. People still learn to live with him. Adoptions are made, including through denials...”
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The current pandemic is in full swing, and no one is yet able to say for sure when we get out of it. There is a lot of evidence material, accumulated over the last year, based on which we can say with certainty, that this virus will remain with mankind forever.

The virus will stay with us forever. How are we going to stay with the virus? That's the question that troubles many of us. Those who continue to deny the existence of the virus remain potential carriers and transmitters. What do we do with them?

In order to be able to live peacefully with this virus the human community needs to reach the level of 60-70% of herd immunity globally. Group immunity can be achieved most quickly through mass immunization against COVID-19. Immunization is a process that depends on several factors now. At the beginning of the process there was not enough vaccine- now we have enough vaccine, but there is also a lot of reluctance.

In most cases, reluctance is argued with fake news, conspiracy theories, interviews with people - impostors. Very often this information is retransmitted massively, including by people with higher medical education.


What do those vaccinated and protected do?

At the time of writing this material in Moldova about 11% of people are already vaccinated with at least one dose of vaccine against COVID-19. These people still don't have secure protection, but they're on their way to having it shortly. These people will be able soon to travel in many countries of the world, organize family holidays, return to work in offices, practice group sports.

What do those who are not vaccinated and not protected do?

Some of these people, about 10% according to official statistics, have been through the disease and have antibodies for a short period of time. Another part, which is quite numerous, have not gone through the disease, have not yet made the vaccine, and are potential carriers and transmitters of the virus. The danger of contacts increases with new mutations of the virus and its increased contagiousness. These people need to be persuaded to vaccinate soon. To convince these people to vaccinate it is important to understand the causes or the subject of denial.

What have they denied so far?

There were a lot of people who denied the existence of the virus at first. Then they said this virus is no more dangerous than a simple cold. After acknowledging that the virus still exists, they started information about globalists, their desire to control the world through chips, and the artificial origin of the virus.

More recently, we have another phenomenon – denial of vaccination. The denial of vaccination invokes various long-term “possible” dangers, such as DNA modification, infertility in women, application of RNA messages to cancer generation, etc.

It is very complicated to discuss these disinformation campaigns especially in times of crisis. Communications are professionally formulated, structured, with key messages apparently based on evidence. In fact, there’s misinformation or a fake message.


What would be good to know when we read or share these messages?

First, then, when we read such messages, it is good to think about whether we have enough knowledge to interpret them correctly.

Each message has a targeted recipient, or a group of recipients. It is clear, for example, that a message about possible DNA modification is intended for people with medical studies. And a message, that the vaccine will cause infertility – is intended for young women who want children.

Each message has a clear and well-defined purpose from the very beginning. For example, when you want to remove a product from the competition, a lot is written about its adverse effects or "lack of information about effectiveness". If a product is to be protected, in exceptional circumstances, less is written about its adverse effects. Repeat often: the benefits outweigh the damage.

Each message represents a man's opinion. Opinions may be influenced by certain personal limitations. These limitations can be driven by certain fears. For example, a man who is afraid of COVID-19 will intuitively select only that information, which helps them continue to deny the existence of the virus. So, will do a man who is afraid of the vaccine. He will select those messages, which help them confirm that vaccines are harmful. Some people, who would like to be in the spotlight, will play the role of "eternal opponent". They'll deny it when most of them accept something. It's a pattern of behavior and affirmation with the use of denials.

Many messages about vaccines against COVID-19 have been used as geopolitical combat tools. It applies to Russian, Chinese, Cuban, etc. vaccines. These messages have been neatly packed into news headlines and TV sequences and it is very complicated to take them apart from evidence materials.

Why do some smart people believe in fake news?

To explain this phenomenon, researchers often use an instrument called the "cognitive reflection test". To understand how this test works, consider the following question:

Emily's father has three daughters. The first two are called April and May. What's the name of my third daughter?”
Did you answer: June? That's the intuitive answer that many people give -- but the correct answer is, of course, Emily.

To get the right answer, you need to pause the intuitive thinking thread and undo the initial intuitive response. After a little analytical thinking, the right answer will come easily. Sometimes the intuitive response corresponds to the analytical one. But there are also cases when you have two different answers, as in the example above.

How can we distinguish a piece of news or false information?

With one simple question: is this true? When we hear or read something, we wonder if that is true and if we can trust the information. It is easy to check sources or check whether the information is supported with official documents. If credible sources are missing, it is good to pass this information on to other people, so you can turn into a fake whistle-blower.

How do we protect ourselves from these people who refuse the vaccine? It's a question I've been hearing more and more lately. The answer to this question concerns many of us directly. We will only really be protected when most of the Moldovan population is vaccinated. We come to a crossroads, when the virus is less dangerous than the man, who carries it with him. The virus knows it will live with us for many years. People still learn to live with him, and adoptions are made, including through denials.