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Ah, Vaccines

As light begins to glow at the end of the long, dark tunnel known as the worst pandemic in our lifetimes, I thought I would write about something that has turned out to be a bit…controversial.

While the pandemic decimated lives (literally) and businesses, turning our lives into deep wells of isolation, despair and terror, I wondered how we would overcome this pandemic. What would we do that would give us even the smallest chance of creating a new post-pandemic life?

And then the vaccines began to arrive on the scene. Safe and crazy effective, these vaccines seemed to be a gift to humanity; a way through this deadly virus; a way to stop the loss of life that has taken such a toll on families across the globe; a way to leave our homes and resume life, changed forever, but still living.

As usual in the America we now live in, things went south fast with factions forming. You’re either with us or against us. You’ve either drunk the Kool-Aid or are a self-proclaimed warrior against the blackmail of vaccinations.

I am exhausted, frankly. Exhausted by uninformed people posting about non-existent threats of taking the vaccine; by politicians who are more interested in keeping their jobs than doing their jobs so they give not one thought to the health and welfare of their constituents, just their political future.

December 2019 found us in our beloved Rome for the holidays and my husband and I became deathly ill with what was being called “a very odd flu.” We came through it (what I now know was a mild case of Covid), but I saw the light, so to speak.

A skeptic when it comes to many things related to our government, but a deep lover of science, I looked at the vaccines with an eye to finding a reason not to take it. But then my saner self prevailed and I began to think about vaccines and what they have given humanity.

Polio is a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease that is caused by poliovirus. The virus spreads from person to person and can invade an infected person’s brain and spinal cord, causing paralysis. I don’t know about you, but I am not in the mood to have polio back; thanks very much.

There are more vaccines, for the flu, ebola, tetanus, hepatitis, mumps, measles and on and on. All of these vaccines deliver on a mission to prevent contagious disease that can become pandemics. None of these vaccines were developed as part of a devious and evil plot to harm us, reprogram us, steal our DNA, give our children autism or any other conspiracy-driven side effect circulating in our inboxes and on our social media.

There are risks in everything. There are risks with pharmaceuticals; supplements; even some foods can pose a risk to people with various health conditions. There’s a risk when you drive a car or take a flight; take a walk or a mountain hike. The question is: do the benefits outweigh the risks?

Exhaustive science-based research showed me that in this case, they do. I think we have to look to the research, not a life or health coach for good, solid information on what these vaccines do…and what they do not do (like steal your DNA; insert a chip in your arm for tracking…your phone already does that; insert different DNA into you. You can go on Facebook and find more wild theories than you can imagine).

I usually stay away from personal information because it’s well, personal. But with all the unsubstantiated theories floating around about the Covid vaccines, I am here to say I got mine, both shots and I was never happier than the day that syringe went into my arm. I saw my future: a life of travel, people I love, hugs, kisses and long leisurely visits with friends and family.

All in that little syringe.

In the end, it’s everyone’s choice whether or not to get the vaccine, but I see it not only for me, but for others, too. I see it as an act of compassion and love for others. Why would I not want to keep the people I come into contact with safe and healthy? Why would I want to contribute to the spread of this deadly disease? I have seen it in action, in my life and in the lives of people I love and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

I think it’s my responsibility as a human being to do what’s best for others as well as my family and me. I think we all have a responsibility to take care of each other, not just ourselves.

And yes, there’s an argument to be made that if our immune systems are working at their peak condition, we are less at risk to catch this modern plague. If we wash our hands (really? We had to learn this one?); wear a face covering, we are less likely spread or contract Covid. We can drink turmeric smoothies and green juice and eat well to give our immune systems all the advantages we can. We should and must do all of that.

77% of Americans are metabolically unfit to fight disease for one reason or another, that’s a lot of collective risk; too much for me.

In the end, it’s your choice to vaccinate or not. It’s your choice whether to shorten the life of this pandemic or contribute to drawing it out longer.

I got my shots proudly, for me and for you. I always say that I prefer to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Finally, some statistics (as of 4/30/2021) to help you decide:

32.2 million cases in the United States

58,528 new cases in the United States as of yesterday

574,000 deaths in the United States

151 million cases worldwide

3.17 million deaths worldwide

All I ask is that you think about it and the bigger picture.

 

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