Why Won’t Members Of The Franchise Industry Aggressively Encourage Covid-19 Vaccinations?
I should have taken what he said as a sign of things to come. More on that in a minute.
As of this writing, Covid-19 is (again) overwhelming hospitals around the nation.
In Cleveland (where I’m located), over 1,000 Ohio National Guard troops have been deployed* to help hospitals with overburdened health care workers keep up with the constant inflow of Covid-19 patients. Mostly unvaccinated Covid-19 patients.
Things are really bad.
But not only outside. On the inside, too.
*Update: Case counts from the Omicron variant have started to come down, so The National Guard members who were helping Ohio hospitals serve patients are finished with their service (for now). Thank you for everything.
The Psychological Impact Of The Pandemic
We’re almost two years into this pandemic. No wonder we’re tired, cranky, depressed, and angry.
In my case I’m all four. Plus one, as I’m resentful, too. And that’s what saps my energy. But it’s there. Would you like to know what I’m resentful about?
My resentment started shortly after a fairly visible member of the franchise industry posted the following on one of the social media platforms shortly after vaccines become available:
“I’m not going to take the Covid-19 vaccine. I don’t need to since I take care of myself and I’m extremely healthy. I’m not worried at all about getting the virus.”
I got so angry when I read that. I still am. Obviously.
That’s got to be one of the most selfish things I’ve ever read. Especially since I know he has a family with children.
I resent the fact that there was no scientific evidence stating that it was okay for “healthy” people not to get vaccinated when he wrote that (in early 2020). There still isn’t (I just looked).
I know what you’re thinking.
“Why do I need to read another article about anti-vaxxers?”
Because of this next part.
I want to know if you got angry when you read what this person wrote?
If so, that tells me a lot about where you stand on the issue of vaccines. It also means that you’re probably vaccinated. And that you wear a mask when asked.
Conversely, if you’re comfortable with what he said, it probably means you’ve succumbed to the politics of Covid-19, don’t believe in science, and you probably aren’t vaccinated (or you are, but you won’t admit it).
Then, as an added bonus, we have this:
“People who’ve been vaccinated are still getting the virus!”
I know. It’s unfortunate to say the least.
But it’s important to note that people who’ve been vaccinated haven’t had to be put on respirators to try to save their lives.
I don’t know about you, but I’m trying to avoid that nastiness.
The United States Government And You
If, like me, you spend a good deal of time online, you see and hear a lot of people saying, “The government is overreaching. They can’t tell me what to do.” But they can. Case in point; seat belts. They’re required to be worn when you’re in a vehicle. And you need to have a valid driver’s license if you’re driving said vehicle. Do you need more examples? Sure you do! Here’s a great one.
Before I was allowed to attend elementary school, my parents (without hesitation) took me to my Pediatrician to get vaccinated against polio, measles, and smallpox. And that was back in the 1960’s. The list of required vaccinations for school-age children is much longer today. Note the word “required.”
Another example is when you enter today’s military. Before you enter basic training, you’ll receive 9* vaccinations before entering basic training. Again, they’re required.
And depending on your specific occupation, you may need to get up to 8 more shots.
*Make that 10. All military personnel are now required to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.
I guess it’s important to have a military force in place that’s ready and able. My point?
Anti-government rhetoric is not helpful.
But things like getting vaccinated and wearing masks indoors when asked are.
The Franchise Industry Can’t Have It Both Ways
A lot of franchise businesses permanently closed in 2020. A good deal of them closed before Covid-19 vaccines became readily available. How many franchises closed in 2021? We’ll need to wait to see the data.
With that in mind, why aren’t the most influential people in our industry out there talking to franchisors, franchisees, and franchise business employees about getting vaccinated? Think about it.
On one hand, you’ve had small business owners (including franchisees) loudly complain about the state and local mandates that have needed to be put in place to help stop the spread of the virus. Things that hurt their businesses.
And while some of the harshest mandates took place before the vaccine came out, it was at the precise time when the vaccines did come out that our industry should’ve immediately started encouraging vaccinations-if only to prevent more business closures. So what happened?
TV, Radio And Facebook Happened
In a nutshell, several television and radio hosts started spreading disinformation and lies about the safety of and effectiveness of the vaccines. Then Facebook and some of the other social networks got in on the action, and some of this crazy stuff went viral.
For example, do you really think Bill Gates helped invent the vaccines so he could implant microchips in everyone who gets vaccinated…so he could track their (your) every movement? C’mon!
And as an added bonus, some of the same television hosts and even a “pillow guy” started playing doctor by recommending unproven and even dangerous medications, vitamins, and who knows what else. It gets better.
Almost everyone who spread these lies and conspiracy theories were (are) vaccinated.
Suffice to say, some in the franchise industry were obviously swayed by this disinformation, and they made a conscious decision to take that side.
This needs to change.
Because if it doesn’t, more franchise business closures are in our future. And if enough franchisees have to close their doors, franchisors will too.
What You Can Do To Help
I think I’ve made my point.
Now let’s talk about a few things all of us in franchising can do to make Covid-19 a thing of the past.
1. If you’re a franchisee, and you’ve been vaccinated, you need to tell your employees you were, and that you feel a lot safer because of it.
2. Give employees who want to get vaccinated a day or two off after they receive their shot. That way they won’t have to worry about coming into work if they have any of the mild side effects we’ve been hearing about.
3. If you’re a franchisor, consultant, or even a supplier, write an article and/or create a short video encouraging people in our industry to get vaccinated. Encourage sharing, and make sure you mention that you got vaccinated too.
4. If you’re a franchisor, offer to coordinate vaccination days with your franchisees. Not only will that be helpful to their employees, but they can be open to the public, too.
5. Talk to your franchise industry friends.
Encourage them to get vaccinated and to help spread the word. The more people in our industry talking about and getting vaccinated the better!
Finally, I didn’t write this to create discourse. There’s enough of that already.
I wrote this because things need to change.
If they don’t, if more people don’t get vaccinated and wear masks when asked-or when they should, more franchises will close. More people will be out of work.
Let’s stop the nonsense and be leaders.
I know we can.
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