I won’t send my unvaccinated friends your recent PSA

because it failed to properly address the most frequent objection I hear: “I’m not getting vaccinated because I’m not at risk. Covid is just another flu for someone like me, and I don’t get flu shots.” If you ignore pleas about “community responsibility,” their logic isn’t easy to defeat:

So yes, it’s quite sensible for my young, healthy friends to think Covid is “no big deal,” especially when speaking from a selfish perspective. Of course, there are bad outcomes other than death, but I’ve found those are less motivating once anchored to the You should be terrified of Covid (incorrect) narrative.

Furthermore, if a healthy person is skeptical of the vaccines for any of the reasons you discussed, 12,000 random deaths from vaccines (if true) represent a greater risk than 600,000 deaths concentrated among at-risk people. Additionally, it’s reasonable to expect that the side effects from the vaccine will be worse than contracting the disease. Most people in my circle who got the vaccine were knocked out for at least a day; most who got Covid were asymptomatic.

Lastly, some of these anti-Covid vaxxers (most aren’t anti-vaxx) happen to have a starting bias that’s less trusting of authority. When you rightfully point out the countless institutional failures during the pandemic, you see “exceptions” that reduce your priors while they see “rules” that validate their priors.

A tricky problem, indeed.

Anyway, you are the man and have positively affected my life more than any person I’ve never met. Thanks for all that you do.