Engaging the Community – Preparing for the Vaccine

The State of Oregon has done a good job conveying the importance of wearing masks and following social distancing measures, but official government communications alone may not be enough. Trust in government is at an all-time low, especially within minority communities, which have been disproportionally impacted by COVID. This problem has been exacerbated by the unfortunate politicization of public health during the recent national election cycle and the resistance in parts of our society to being “told what to do” by government. There are other, perhaps more effective, messengers that have not yet been fully mobilized—the trusted local leaders living in every community across our state, whose voices may carry more weight than directives from the state.