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Frustration toward unvaccinated adults grows as the Delta variant spreads

Doctors sounding alarm about rise in unvaccinated kids as winter approaches
Posted at 5:13 PM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 19:46:22-04

MILWAUKEE — As coronavirus cases climb in Wisconsin and across the country, frustrations toward those who choose not to get vaccinated continues to grow.

A recent national study by Axios found that 4 out of 5 vaccinated adults blame those who are unvaccinated for rising cases. Meanwhile, surveys of the unvaccinated show most don’t plan to change their minds.

Just a couple months ago, Shelby Manuel thought the pandemic was winding down, but as cases trend in the wrong direction, Shelby says his frustrations with the unvaccinated have reached a boiling point.

"I'm afraid we could be dealing with it beyond another year, a couple more years, because [of] the unvaccinated,” he said.

Alicia Diaz says she’s vaccinated, but she’s lost two loved ones who chose not to get their shots within the past couple of months.

“It's dangerous not to do it, that's my opinion, and I pray to God that people open their eyes and do the vaccination,” she said.

George Fabian says he won’t get vaccinated because he fears the side effects.

“I believe in the vaccination, but just in my case it's a little bit of a different story,” he said.

A recent study by the Associated Press found a vast majority of American adults who have not gotten vaccinated won’t be convinced otherwise. Of the participants, 45 percent said they definitely will not get vaccinated. 35 percent said they will probably not get their shots. Just 3 percent said they definitely will get vaccinated at some point.

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Egg and Flour chef and owner Adam Pawlak says more than 80 percent of his staff is vaccinated, but he fears what’s out of his control.

"I do know a shutdown would completely bury us, I think,” he said. “That would be the end-all-be-all is if we had to shut down again and kind of pivot again."

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Dr. Shilagh Mirgain is a psychologist for UW-Health.

"I think it's been so challenging because it really affects our sense of control, and when we can't control something such as the spread of the Delta variant, we seek to blame,” she said.

Dr. Mirgain says if you’re dealing with these frustrations, find a friend, family member or psychologist to talk to so you can process your feelings. Next, come up with a plan that makes you feel safe when you do go out.

"Many people are experiencing anger at people who are unvaccinated, but it's really important to remember that anger and fear are closely related,” she said.

An Axios study shows mask wearing in public has increased 5 percent over the past few weeks. Meanwhile, dining in restaurants has seen a 2 percent decrease due to the Delta variant.

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