About 40 years ago, a survey was taken, asking trust levels for 30 professions. As expected, clergy, medical providers and attorneys were number one, two and three on that scale. Used car salesmen and insurance agents were numbers 29 and 30.

Not many years ago, the same survey was taken. This was after lawyers began to advertise. They dropped, in the survey, to number 15. They landed right next to politicians and (surprise?) insurance agents. The medical profession and religious leaders remained numbers one and two.

Today, the medical profession is challenged. Their top rating is in danger of falling. Perhaps it already has. COVID-19 is the cause. Certainly, the government’s credibility has gone down.

When the coronavirus first came to public attention, it was announced that bats were probably to blame. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was quickly challenged on its report. Could the virus have come from a Chinese lab? That question remains unanswered. The government has not pursued the answer.

At first, people were told not to wear a mask. Later, it was suggested that they do. Now a mask is demanded. Why the change? The story, as told, was the CDC wanted to reserve masks for first responders. Mass purchases would cause a shortage. That may be logical, but the reason first given was not honest, and it was not true.

Americans have received a daily count of people who contracted the virus, and the number of people who died, for nearly two years. Questions were raised. Were people dying from COVID, or with COVID. There are too many unanswered questions to really believe what was being reported.

A motorcyclist on the Central Coast died in an auto accident. After the autopsy was performed, it was announced that the rider had COVID. COVID was listed as the cause of death. Common sense tells us that the virus had nothing to do with his death. More stories like that surfaced. People began to question the statistics from the CDC. Honest answers were not forthcoming.

It’s interesting that this past year the number of people who became ill from the flu almost disappeared. Did the flu go away, or were people diagnosed with a different illness?

When the vaccines were released for popular use, people were told they were safe to use. But all of the reactions from the vaccines were not made public. It doesn’t take much research to realize there are major problems resulting from taking the three vaccines. Not everyone responds in the same way. But some reactions are a major concern. It’s not easy to cover this stuff up. But they (CDC) try. People have died from the vaccine. But we aren’t told that.

If people who take the vaccine are safe from the virus, why worry about the people who refuse to be immunized? If people are safe, why the need for wearing a mask? If people are safe, why worry about social distancing? Why is the government now talking about a booster shot? If the darn thing isn’t working, why not admit it?

And what about the mask? Dr. Fauci has told us to wear two masks. He does not respond to scientists who have proclaimed that trying to prevent the COVID-19 from an infection, wearing a mask, is like trying to catch a mosquito with a chain link fence. OK, two fences.

The purpose, here, is not to argue for a vaccination, or to suggest a refusal. It is, however, easy to understand why some people, lots of people, are anti-vaccine. When the public challenges medical reports, they deserve honest reports. People aren’t stupid. All they ask for are honest answers.

Finally, we should consider what damage the medical community has done to itself in the past couple of years. There has been misinformation reported. Lots of it! The public will have to decide if the medical community can be, again, trusted.

H. Steven Cronquist has been a local independent insurance broker since 1974. He is also the principal at Bakersfield Institute of Continuing Education, an educational provider for California insurance to obtain their required educational hours for license renewal.