Last Thursday, I received the second dose of my Moderna COVID vaccine. I was so relieved, I cried. Honestly, OVERWHELMINGLY relieved. It’s one step closer to being closer to whatever normal was 16 months ago.
When I hear people say they don’t want/need the vaccine, my heart breaks. These are the same people who want “normal” back, they want everything open and to move on with their lives, but they don’t want the vaccine.
I know people have their reasons. Fear. Side effects. They live where they don’t think they’ll need it. Blind obedience to someone who says they don’t need it. Religion. Whatever. Reasons.
This pandemic has already dragged out longer than it’s needed to. A year ago, we had the opportunity to nip this virus, but instead, America chose it’s “freedoms.”
On my left shoulder, you can still see my smallpox vaccine scar. Not long after I received mine, they stopped giving them to children. Why? With the vaccine, they had eradicated smallpox in this country and most places in the world. When the polio vaccine was offered in the 1950’s, people lined up to get the vaccine. Why? Because it was effective and protective against polio. Less than ten years later, polio was all but gone, and by the 1970’s, polio was no longer a threat.
Why is COVID different? Why has the attitude toward public health changed? Why don’t those choosing not to get the vaccination care about themselves or others? It’s baffling. Truly baffling. I remember being required to prove I’d been vaccinated against a myriad of diseases not nearly as viral or as deadly as COVID to go to school/college. A COVID vaccine is just one more for the list.
We’re headed toward the exit of this pandemic, but we are not there yet. To protect myself and those I love, I cannot, in good conscience, visit or reconnect with people who aren’t vaccinated yet. Those who refuse the vaccination, I may not get to see you for a while. I hope you understand. I have to look out for my own health, and if you won’t, I have to draw the line.
The CDC says I can travel domestically. I can have small gatherings with other vaccinated peeps. Science says not to put the masks away just yet. Keep doing what kept me healthy so far.
I’ve lived part of my life following, and somewhere I crossed over to living on the edge and leading the way. Trying new things and boldly going places I’ve never been. To me, choosing to be vaccinated is one of my boldest choices. I follow the science.
I hope more people choose the vaccine down the line, once they’ve seen its effectiveness. I want to put this pandemic in my rearview mirror, and the only way to do that is to fight it with methods we know that work – distancing, vaccines, masks.
Vaccines work. I have the smallpox vaccine scar to prove it.