COVID-19’s Spread at SOU and Debunking Vaccine Myths

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Since April 16th, 2020, SOU students and faculty have recorded a total of 108 confirmed cases of COVID-19, thirty nine of which have occurred since the start of 2021. From the start of the pandemic Jackson County has been ravaged by the disease, sporting disproportionately high case numbers when compared to the national average or even neighboring counties. Only now are vaccines finally becoming available to the general public, beginning with distribution to seniors.

The cases at SOU are far too many to catalogue in full, though you can view their full history HERE, but let’s look at a few highlights. Well, lowlights. The first positive case, on April 16th, was from a SOU student studying in an entirely different state. From then until about the middle of October cases were very erratic. A positive case was identified on October 22nd, and from then on a steady string of cases popped up nearly every day. While October marked the start of the pandemic’s spread amongst SOU faculty and students, the absolute worst month for overall cases reported is undoubtedly November, with 44 confirmed cases reported within a span of thirty days. While cases have tapered off slightly since then, the danger is still very, very real.

Luckily, COVID-19 vaccines have at last begun to be distributed here in Oregon. Jackson County’s vaccination plans can be seen HERE. The vaccines will be distributed to the elderly, with those 80 and older able to apply for an appointment immediately. Those 75 and up will be served next week, followed by ages 70 and up the week after. Individuals at the age of 65 and up can be vaccinated at the beginning of March.

Here are some great resources for other information about the COVID vaccine:
Center for Disease Control Myths and Facts
Mayo Clinic COVID Vaccine Myths Debunked
Cleveland Clinic: 9 Common Covid-19 Myths Explained

But who wants to read more than the bare minimum? Certainly not the hundreds of thousands who believe that masks are a space alien plot. As vaccines are finally beginning distribution, fear-mongering and conspiracy theories have begun building to a fever pitch. Here’s a selection of conspiracy theories for your pleasure.

  1. The vaccine is just going to infect me with the dang virus!
    No. Zero of the vaccines in production contain the live COVID-19 virus, meaning it is literally impossible for one to infect you. While it IS possible for the vaccines to give you brief symptoms of fever or other such side effects, all are temporary and not a sign of long-lasting illness.
  2. The vaccine will make me infertile!
    Nope. There are zero credible links between infertility or miscarriage and the COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. The vaccine will alter my DNA, turning me into a lizardman!
    No. The bit of the vaccine that teaches your cells how to handle COVID-19 quickly dissipates and never enters the nucleus of your cells, where DNA is encoded.
  4. Aborted fetal tissue is the basis of the vaccine!
    No. The full ingredient list of every COVID-19 vaccine in production is available online.
  5. Bill Gates is going to inject nanobots into my blood, turning me into a new member of his robo-slave legion!
    No. The widely cited “source” proving Bill’s evil plan was talking about a digital certificate of all those who have been vaccinated against the virus, not any kind of microchip or mind control ray or space laser or anything. Just a certificate.

Want more info on vaccine myths? Check out this interview with Dr. Fauci by the Try Guys.

Keep in mind that even as vaccines begin distribution nationwide, this pandemic is far from over. Wear a mask, wash your hands and stay safe.

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