The COVID-19 vaccine is only several months old, but it’s straining years-old relationships.
This non-FDA-approved, experimental emergency vaccine is so polarizing and controversial that it’s breaking down even strong and old relationships. Whether or not a friend or family member has chosen to get an injection is suddenly many people’s justification for shunning, ignoring, or being cruel to the people they know and love.
There hasn’t been much media coverage on just how deeply this new vaccine is straining people’s personal relationships, but the conflict is present for everyone you talk to. The decision to not vaccinate or to vaccinate is creating heated arguments at best and destroyed relationships at worse.
Most of the bullying is coming from those who are pro-vaccine, directed towards those who have not gotten the vaccine yet or are uncomfortable with taking it at all.
We’ve gathered some stories from Evie readers about how the vaccine has affected their friendships, family relations, and jobs.
I Now Have an Ex-Best Friend
“I threw my now-former best friend a baby shower last year in January. This year, she threw one for her next baby and didn’t even tell me about it, all because I chose not to get the Covid vaccine. She and her husband wouldn’t attend our wedding last year because of Covid.” - Erica
My Parents Kicked Me Out
“My mother and father kicked me out of the house for not wanting the vaccine. They had previously agreed to let me live at home until I paid off my $50,000 in student debt, but now they are telling me to move out. It hurts that they are treating me like a leper when I’ve never once gotten them sick. I guess they no longer care about helping me get to a better place financially, all because I don’t want an experimental injection.” - Olivia
It hurts that they are treating me like a leper when I’ve never once gotten them sick.
My Friends Won’t See Me
“Half of my friends won’t see me in person even though they have gotten the vaccine and I haven’t. They don’t ‘feel safe.’ I respect their right to choose what goes into their body, but I don’t understand why they don’t respect mine. Guess it’s just part of the times now, and I’ll have to find other friends.” - Caitlin
My Family Won’t Let Me See My Grandmother
“My aunt is basically holding my grandma hostage from me until I get a vaccine (I won’t). She lives at my aunt’s house, and my aunt won’t let me come over unless I get a vaccine. She refuses to ask my grandma what she thinks because ‘she’s too old to understand.’ I haven’t seen grandma in a year and I barely talk to my aunt anymore.” - Jen
My “Friends” Are Punishing Me for Not Being Vaccinated
“I’m not comfortable getting the vaccine until the vaccine is officially authorized and not emergency authorized, but my vaccinated friends won’t even do outdoor activities with me until I get it. It’s hurtful because I’m just waiting for more data, and I’m surrounded by vaccinated people or people who have recently had Covid, recovered, and have antibodies, so I don’t feel the need to get it for my community at this time. My ‘friends’ aren’t avoiding me because they are recommended to do so medically, but to punish me for not doing what they think is best for themselves.” - Gracie
My Sister-In-Law Won’t Allow Me To Go to Her Wedding
“My grandmother, aunt, uncle, and cousins refuse to see me and my family because none of us are getting the vaccine, even though they have their own vaccines. So if they are covered and the vaccine works, why should they be afraid that we aren’t vaccinated? My three sisters-in-law are trying to make vaccines a requirement for family gatherings and holidays. One of them is only allowing vaccinated people to attend her wedding next spring. I think it’s incredibly discriminatory to not allow your unvaccinated family members to attend such a special event. I have lost friends because of this as well.” - Margaret
My three sisters-in-law are trying to make vaccines a requirement for family gatherings and holidays.
My Cousin Forced Me To Mask Indoors
“Recently, my cousins invited me to a family event where they asked me to wear a mask inside of their home even though they’re all double vaccinated. Everyone but me got to roam around maskless. If I was told this prior to coming, I would have respectfully declined the invitation. I ended up mortified, and now the tension is the highest it’s ever been between certain family members and me. I don’t want to take the vaccine because fertility issues run on my mother’s side, and I don’t like how it has been pushed down my throat to take it. ” - Selena
My Friend Told Me “Being Pregnant Is No Excuse for Not Taking the Vaccine”
“I told my close friend of 4+ years that I had no intention of taking the vaccine due to underlying health conditions and because I was trying to get pregnant, and the data on pregnant women is split. She got really upset with me and told me that my underlying condition and soon-to-be-pregnancy is no excuse, and said I should be excluded from public/social life. She made it clear to me she had no intention of being friends with an unvaccinated person. She even told me it was good my husband wasn’t allowed at my ultrasound appointment because ‘Covid is a bigger priority than him being there.’ After that, she had a ‘vaccine party’ at her house with all her friends to celebrate being vaccinated. Alcohol, food. Basically a frat party for the vaccinated.” - Tani
I Haven’t Seen My Family in a Year
“One side of my family refused to see me until they are all fully vaccinated. They know I won’t be getting the vaccine. They are all vaccinated now, but they still disagree with me about the first lockdowns and the masks, and the vaccine issue has left us not talking to each other. They are only associating with people who ‘they know have been following the rules’ and ‘people who are safe.’ I haven’t seen them since last year. They canceled Christmas with me because Governor Newsom said not to gather for the holidays.” - Whitney
They are only associating with people who ‘they know have been following the rules’ and ‘are safe.’
The Topic Comes Up Everywhere
“We can’t have a family meal (Mother’s Day, etc.) without [the vaccine] being a full blown debate. Church is even tense. At our friend’s wedding, my husband and I were stopped and lectured about it by the bride’s parents, and then the groom’s parents jumped in with an opposing opinion. It has been a touchy subject at work as well — people come up to me and tell me they’ve gotten the vaccine and I say, ‘Cool, but you don’t have to tell me your medical history’.” - Renee
My Company Is Requiring Vaccines, So I Have To Leave
“The company I work for just announced they’re requiring everyone to return to the office on August 2, and you must be vaccinated or you lose your job. So I gave a two-month notice to a company I spent the last 11 years with.” - Lindsey
After reading these stories, it’s worth asking ourselves: Is a virus with a very low mortality rate, a virus that the vast majority of people recover from, really worth treating the people we love with such disdain, exclusion, and aggression? I’m inclined to say it’s not.