The coronavirus disease has spiraled out of control and has taken more than half a million lives in the U.S. alone. It seems surreal that this is the world we live in: masks, constant hand washing and always staying six feet away from others. I remember going to the grocery store right after the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place and seeing six feet social distancing stickers on the ground. It was upsetting! We have three vaccines, but everyone needs to do their part for this to work. There is one way to get our lives back: to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Many people are eager and anxious to receive the vaccine, while others are hesitant or do not believe in COVID-19 at all. I have a message for those who are refusing to receive the vaccine.
We all want our old lives back. We want to be able to gather with our families on Christmas morning and we all want to be able to go to concerts. Those in school want to go to class without wearing a mask. We just want our lives back, do we not? Consider this: many children are taken to doctors’ clinics at a young age to get a series of vaccinations. Why do they get them? To prevent illness. Children get vaccinated so they can go to school to learn, grow and create friendships. How is that any different now? We want our children to go back to school and not have to worry about contracting a virus and taking it home to a high-risk person. Even if there is no high-risk individual in the home, the vaccine prevents the virus from coming home to residents who can spread it outside their homes.
Every year, we are constantly reminded to get a flu shot. The flu vaccine has side effects as well and some still people get the flu, but that hasn’t stopped millions from receiving their dose. Many people choose to do so to protect themselves and others around them. That’s the thing with the coronavirus: it is not about you!
The same principle applies to wearing masks. We wear a mask in case we are infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus so we do not continue the spread and others do the same. This is no different with the COVID-19 vaccine. You get the vaccine, your neighbor gets the vaccine. For you to get your old life back, you need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. It is vital to infection control and it will not only protect you but others around you.
If you have grandparents, you know the struggle of not being able to visit them. If you can visit them, you know the risks involved. I lived with both of my grandmothers and the possibility of bringing the virus home was extremely stressful. Both have got vaccinated, but not without several hesitations and worries. Sure, people have questions and unsettling thoughts when a new vaccine enters the market. With worry comes trust. My grandmother was worried about becoming seriously ill by receiving a vaccine that was seemingly rushed by the developers. She was concerned that the vaccine may add severity to her current health issues. Doing research and looking up how mRNA vaccines are different from typical weakened/inactive antigens-based vaccines may alleviate some worry.
The coronavirus has become a political topic, and it really should not have. COVID-19 is science, not politics. It broke my heart to hear my grandmother’s hesitations about the vaccine and I admit that I got quite upset with her. I have two grandmothers who are still living and I feel very blessed to still have them. I want my grandmothers to be safe and I want them to be able to live their lives. After all, both of them have helped raise me and mold me into the person I am today. These women lived through several historical events, such as feeling the effects of the Great Depression and living through WWII. Fortunately, both got their vaccines. I consider this an addition to their list of historical events; the vaccine is another thing to make them stronger. I feel as if they are safer now and won’t need to worry as much when they encounter those outside their home. My grandmothers deserve so much and have so much life in them, even at an advanced age. It is imperative that we care for others.
There is one solution to ending this pandemic: vaccines. Currently, the world is at capacity for selfishness and denial. We all need to do our part and protect others around us because if everyone does their part, we can protect ourselves and others. This is a team effort. This team is built of billions of people who need to do their part. I know that there are side effects and people may be scared. I also know that some may have underlying health conditions and may be more scared of the vaccine than the virus itself. I know that some believe that COVID-19 is nothing but a hoax. But we just want our lives back.
Everybody is frustrated. We were given the information on the coronavirus in early 2020, but many chose to ignore it. As a result, lives have been lost and destroyed. The vaccine is our chance to try and fix what we have broken. There is one way to go back to normal and that is getting vaccinated against this deadly virus. Is it so much of a hoax now? Is it so awful to get a shot now? You know what to do. Do your part.