The phone screen lit up in brightness, the quiet ping ringing out into the air. Sophomore Calvin Truong unlocked his phone and clicked on the message. His eyes widened. His parents cannot find out that his sister was vaccinated.
Amid the pandemic, Truong finds himself at odds with his parents. They claim “the coronavirus is not real and that it is a weapon produced to kill you.” With misinformation spewing from some Vietnamese Youtube channels, Truong must figure out a way to address his parents’ doubtful conspiracies.
“Being immigrants from Vietnam, their English is limited and they lean toward sources that are more accessible,” Truong said. “Many of these sources, however, take on anti-science approaches and often mislead their viewers about some of the facts.”
Truong’s sister was vaccinated, ignoring their parents’ worries in favor of taking preventative measures against COVID-19. This information is withheld from his parents to protect his sister’s well-being from their beliefs in the harmful misinformation surrounding the vaccine.
“My parents refuse to get the vaccine and plead that their children not get it either as they believe, because of these channels, that we will immediately die upon injection,” Truong said.
As the vaccine becomes more accessible to the public, Truong hopes his parents educate themselves about the vaccine.
“I wish they would do their own research on the vaccine and understand that plenty of research and experimentation has already been done,” Truong said. “This mentality puts me in fear for my life and their lives. I feel powerless, being in no position to inform my father and him not listening.”