It has been a mighty long fifteen months as we have traveled the pandemic journey. But today there was real light at the end of the tunnel when James and I received our first vaccination shots. For the occasion, I wore one of my favorite T-shirts, one that made for smiles decades ago….and again today as it still fit! Months ago when the vaccine was starting to be available I knew exactly what I would wear when the needle met my arm.
The enormity of the pandemic, along with the scientific surge of research and discovery that allowed for the vaccines to be manufactured has not lost their power even as my desire to get vaccinated was in overdrive. It was my need to fully feel the moment that led me to ask a question when finally getting close to the shot being administered. I wanted to know something I could always recall about the woman who was holding the needle.
She always wanted to go into the world of medicine as her dad was a doctor. While sports medicine held much sway over her for years she finally decided to become a medical assistant. When I asked her if the pandemic seemed surreal she responded by saying such massive outbreaks can occur if not dealt with properly at the start. She nailed that one!
With that, she wheeled herself to my right arm and asked me what I was going to do the rest of the afternoon. I uttered about four words and got to the part of giving the title of the book I was reading when she informed me we were done. I truly did not feel it. Just like that, I had my first shot of Pfizer.
A few hours later as I type this post there is a slight soreness. But I feel psychologically different, a part of my being has caught up with the facts I had been reading for months. A part of the personal dread about the virus, and the impact it could have had on this home is already dimming.
As I got up and ready for today I thought of the boys from my hometown area (Hancock, WI)–the ones I have been reading and podcasting here and here a lot about lately–who fought in WWI during the 1918 pandemic. The local newspaper at the time, The Hancock News reported on the ones who died in Europe. They all did not die from a German bullet, but also from the influenza pandemic.
I strongly suspect if all the young men who left my hometown area for Europe had been able to remedy the influenza pandemic with a vaccine shot they would have quickly rolled up a sleeve. Perhaps even ripped off the sleeve and thrust their arm forward!
We live with so much technology along with the power of medicine and science. We have umteenth ways to become informed on the ways a vaccine is made and works once inside the body. Yet too many rebel about why they have ‘the right’ to not take the shot. We hear nonsense about ‘freedom’ and the weak-minded who try to equate not taking the vaccine to some principled stand rooted in our nation’s founding. Try to inform that group that George Washington believed in the science of his time and knew why inoculation for smallpox was vital.
As such I ask how would Edward Cutsforth respond to the naysayers and vaccine deniers that we hear about today?
The rejection of the vaccines must end. So please, if you have not received your vaccination, make an online appointment today.