Jennifer Aniston said goodbye to people who refused to be vaccinated. Why the COVID-19 crisis continues to cause social rifts.
Of nearly 30 percent of US adults remain unvaccinated — and a new one Survey of the Kaiser Family Foundation find that 46 percent of unvaccinated adults have no intention of changing their minds — some of those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 injections are drawing a line in the sand. Among them is actress Jennifer Aniston, who revealed in a new interview with In style that she has cut ties with people in her life because they don’t get vaccinated.
“There’s still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don’t listen to the facts,” Aniston said in the September issue of the magazine. “It’s a real shame. I just lost a few people in my weekly routine who either declined or didn’t disclose [whether or not they had been vaccinated], and it was a shame. I feel it is your moral and professional duty to inform as we are not all confused and tested every day. It’s tricky because everyone is entitled to their own opinion – but many opinions feel based on nothing except fear or propaganda.”
Aniston, who has used her platform to encourage both masks and vaccinations during the pandemic, has not made it clear whether these individuals were friends, employees or service providers. But she’s certainly not the only vaccinated person to take a strong stance, especially as the Delta variant is causing new spikes across the country.
Bars, gyms – in New York City you will now have to show proof of vaccination to exercise indoors, dine or watch a movie — colleges and workplaces, from hospitals to Disney parks, are setting new vaccine mandates every day. Even working in a band can be subject to strict standards, such as: Descendant drummer Pete Parada recently discovered. This week, the musician posted a lengthy statement on Twitter announcing the “unfortunate and difficult news” that he had been banned from the pop-punk band’s upcoming tour because he had chosen not to get vaccinated. (Parada cited his medical history with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) as the cause of his hesitation to vaccinate, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Comments that individuals who have previously had GBS can still be vaccinated against COVID-19, adding that “to date, no cases of GBS have been reported following vaccination in participants in the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials.”)
Parada noted in his announcement that he was “unable to meet what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate”. The same Kaiser Family Foundation survey cited above found that 3 percent of all respondents would get vaccinated if needed.
For now, many people – and their places where they work, study and spend their leisure time – are in a sort of stalemate. It goes without saying that the social conflicts between the vaccinated and unvaccinated that we have already seen (and previously reported) will continue to damage relationships, both personal and professional, although experts advise against viewing these boundaries as a personal attack.
“Everyone should determine their own comfort level and advocate for their own personal safety and sense of security,” therapist Hannah Tishman, vice president of operations for New York City-based Cobb Psychotherapy, Yahoo told Life in late June. “That may look different for each person based on their own lived experiences, health history, and personal beliefs and values. Everyone has had a different experience during the pandemic, some experiencing a higher level of trauma than others. a place of understanding and not judgment when we learn about the choices of others regarding their vaccinations.
“What makes one person feel safe can make another feel unsafe, and vice versa,” she adds. “There are strong feelings involved as we recover from the pandemic and it can be helpful to express what makes you feel safe and your own needs to loved ones, rather than projecting onto them what you expect from others.”