Social Support in the Time of Covid

Once upon a time I was in the closet, that is, I was hiding something about myself I knew to be true. I found that shame, which thrives on secrecy, was socially induced and therefore had to be socially lifted. Coming out unfolded in many separate stories in each part of my life. One thing was the same. There was no partial coming out. Once the closet door was opened, even the first crack, I revealed myself, and I was whole.

Fast forward from 1971 to 2021. Fifty years more of lived experience makes me look back with wider eyes on the long-ago disclosure. I find myself again in a group considered socially deviant. I am one of those who chooses not to take the Covid vaccine. We are a group of mostly hidden individuals. The ones who stay quiet when the street talk is when you got it, where you got it, how long you had to wait. Mostly, we who don’t want the vaccine don’t think it’s safe, or necessary.

Despite our view of the vaccine, I think that most of us in this minority group are able to be glad that all of those majority folks who do want the vaccine, can get it. No evangelizing for most of us, simply a difference of opinion on a crucial health matter. One promoted by big Pharma as a collective health matter, but first, at root, a very personal health matter.

It makes me remember how, when I came out, I did not begrudge my straight friends and family members for their lifestyle, though I often envied their freedom and social acceptance. The social pressure to be hetero was ferocious.  But the social pressure today to get the Covid vaccine feels much more engineered and, much more difficult to withstand.

Let me speak of a subgroup of the subgroup. The social pressure on elders to be a vaccine receiver is stronger than anything I could have imagined. The scarcity advertising campaign has found my cohort mainly rushing in gratitude for their perceived protection. But there are those of us who think differently, those of us like myself, whose body tells me that the vaccine is a danger to my health. To be name-called and shamed is sadly familiar to a social deviant. Shunning, also, is not a total surprise. What I didn’t expect in this day and age of the world wide web was the suffering in isolation, the difficulty in locating one’s kindred spirits.

After a full year of the global population suffering social isolation, an increase in isolation feels insupportable. Yet we vaccine resisters, and especially the subgroup of elder vaccine resisters, are now undergoing intensification of that social isolation. We know that sound health requires that social needs as well as physical needs be met. How can we in the minority meet our social needs? I fear the judgment and disapproval of the vaccine receivers, but not as much as I fear the results of their social ostracizing, on me and others who choose to refuse the vaccine.

Yet I intend to withstand this new pressure to conform. I am fortunate to have the support of my son, rich spiritual resources, and, so many health advocates like Dr. Christine Northrup and Dr. Joseph Mercola, Naomi Wolfe, and Robert F Kennedy Jr. whose opinions I read.

On behalf of all the silent vaccine refusers who dare not express their position for fear of retaliation, I am willing to take the risk to come out with my non-mainstream position. All I ask from my readers is respect. (R-e-s-p-e-c-t, thank you Otis and Aretha.) And what I ask from others like me who choose to forego the vaccine is to be strong in what is best for you, and to seek like-minded folks to support in small, everyday, social ways. Fifty years from now, who knows how our positions will appear.

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10 Responses to “Social Support in the Time of Covid

  • I intend well being and excellent health for you no matter what….xox

    • Susa Silvermarie
      6 months ago

      Gayle, your response lifts me, and I treasure you.

  • Susa,
    I share your sentiments totally.
    May all beings be free in their truth
    to themselves and have optimum health.

    • Susa Silvermarie
      6 months ago

      Joany, Your support has been crucial to my post. Yes yes, may all be free in their truth to themselves!

  • Thanks so much for naming this, Susa. You are a courageous one. Each of us in a pod of three has chosen not to get the vaccine and build our immune system. We definitely feel the pressure and notice the lax attitude of others about taking precautions after they get the vaccine. The situation calls me to compassionate understanding of a complex situation. My adult son is getting the vaccine. I’m noticing, choosing, and growing…hopefully.

    • Susa Silvermarie
      6 months ago

      Cat, you say so well what is required of us, “compassionate understanding of a complex situation.” May more naming of more of the complicated parts come forth. I wish you and all of us wel!

  • Pat Conway
    6 months ago

    Hey Susa Thanks for sharing your truth. Pat

    • Susa Silvermarie
      6 months ago

      I very much appreciate support from you, Patsy.

  • Absolutely!
    Lets all remember the 60s, the 70s ( I know, I am too young). It was about Freedom; freedom of choice, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and an exposing of lies.

    The government and media lied about Vietnam. They actually staged a fake event, The Gulf of Tonkin. Governments lie monumentally Government and Media are in bed and have been; dont be lulled by modern technology that his is now not the case.

    Pharma lies monumentally. The CDC and the WHO have been caught hands down lying. But will big Media cover that. Thats all Id say. FREEDOM of choice , and Freedom of speech on this issue, and on life, is at stake.

  • Susa Silvermarie
    6 months ago

    thank you, David. Your advocacy means the world to me. I agree with you, though I no longer find absolutes to be helpful in the cause of truth. Right now what I’m asking for is a small piece, support for vaccine resisters. Let’s offer encouragement and social sustenance to those who run counter to the mainstream media/pharma message of fear, to all of us who diverge from the mainstream belief in a Covid vaccine and dare to follow our own convictions. Freedom is at stake, as you say.

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