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What conservatives say versus what liberals hear

Having a polite conversation is becoming increasingly harder as the country becomes more polarized around the Covid-19 vaccine. Some want compulsory shots; others believe jabs should be optional. All too often, it devolves into liberal-leaning citizens thinking conservative-minded people are uneducated and rigid. Here’s a breakdown of common statements that conservatives make, how liberals interpret them, and what is truly meant. 

What a conservative says: I’m not sure how I feel about getting the Covid vaccination. 

What a conservative actually means: I need more time to think about injecting a relatively new vaccine into my body. I’m concerned about the possible side effects and its inability to fully protect me or keep me from spreading the coronavirus to other people. Besides, I’m suspicious of why the government is pushing this particular vaccine so hard. I secretly think it’s a futuristic serum that will turn me into an alien with green skin and one eyeball in the middle of my forehead.

Not really. But sometimes it seems like you might as well say that, but they’re going to think it anyway. 

What a conservative says: I don’t think kids should have to wear face masks in school.

What a liberal hears: I hate kids and want them to die.

What a conservative actually means: I’m concerned about the long-term detrimental effects of mask wearing on children who don’t socialize normally for two years. Numerous studies and researchers have proven that kids aren’t significant spreaders of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Plus, kids can shed the virus from their systems in as little as 48 hours. 

What a conservative says: Covid-19 has a really high survival rate.

What a liberal hears: I’m too ignorant to understand statistics and how they apply to global populations, my own community, and my daily life.

What a conservative actually means: Covid-19 has a really high survival rate. Of the approximately 35.2 million confirmed cases in the US, about 614,300 people have died. This is a 1.7% mortality rate, as calculated by Johns Hopkins University. This equates to a 98.3% survival rate. As previously stated, that’s a really high survival rate. 

Additionally, demographics point to specific demographics that are more heavily impacted by Covid than others. Data from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) shows that 79% of Covid deaths are attributed to people aged 65 and older. People between ages 45 and 64 account for 18% of deaths, and those under 45 years old account for 2.8%. 

What a conservative says: It’s pretty hypocritical of Barak Obama, all the world leaders at the G7 Summit, and other high profile individuals to encourage universal mask wearing and social distancing while simultaneously engaging in maskless socializing. 

What a liberal hears: It’s kind of messed up that our leaders say one thing and do another. Do we operate under two different sets of rules? If it’s good enough for us, it should be good enough for them.

What a conservative actually means: I’m not trying to Obama-bash or hate on Boris Johnson, even though his hair is worse than Trumps, but it sure is nice to find some common ground with a liberal. After all, we’re all Americans who are in this together.

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