I am constantly reminding people to get their vaccines so to fight the COVID pandemic. Be it from our front yard when chatting with those who pass our way—though thankfully most everybody here is vaccinated–to encouraging complete strangers around the globe when paying a bill to get the shots.
This past week I had a question about my bill for Sirius radio and following the payment, I chatted with the woman for a couple of minutes. I could tell she was from abroad, and so asked where she lived.
“In the Philippines”.
I asked if she had taken a vaccine for the virus, and I could tell she was hesitant to know why I would ask, so I quickly added it was my hope that people around the globe would have access to the shots and be better able to fend off the virus. It was then she opened up and we had a quick and meaningful chat.
She talked of living in a small village where there are no shots for anyone, and how working from home has been “a blessing” as she has an older parent living with her, and trying to protect her from getting sick.
I told her of my desire to see our nation to be more robust with distributing shots worldwide. I wished her to remain safe and to seek out the vaccine when it reached her area. She then concluded the phone call with the following words.
“God bless you”.
At about the same time as that call was taking place James and I received a note from Manzoor, a friend from Pakistan. He, along with Ferit from Turkey, years back discovered at our dinner table how some of the traditional Thanksgiving foods are served and tasted. They both were in Madison at the time and studying as international students. That meal, and the conversation that evening, is a continuing reason to smile.
The best part of his recent note was news of being vaccinated.
The weather must be nice in Madison these days. We experienced extremely hot weather last week but now it’s cooled down after a couple of heavy rains.
I had my first shot of the Sinovac vaccine, perhaps a Chinese manufactured one and the second is due on the 27th of this month. But overall things are all fine here as compared to other countries in the world. People generally are very well aware and follow all SOPs. The infection and death ratio is reducing day by day.
But despite all this scenario, anxious travelers care more about exploring the world. Our business did not suffer much and we had some business activity to survive. Last month, we entertained some international travelers including Americans. This boosted our confidence and now we see the good days returning.
In a previous note in 2020 he wrote the following.
I feel so very sorry about the loss of lives in the US. This is a very difficult time indeed for many families. No one might have anticipated about the pandemic and that the entire world would shut down. I think we should all take it positive and should learn from this time at least to prepare ourselves for any situation and to look after the needy fellows.
As such, I was very pleased to hear this news since for the general population in Pakistan there has long been a struggle with disinformation about vaccines that have been proven safe and effective. But we also know that problem plagues too many–and a growing segment at that–of the American population.
I am heartened that their government has set a goal of vaccinating between 45 million and 65 million people by the end of this year, and Pakistan recently announced plans to spend $1.1 billion to procure doses. With about 2% of their population now vaccinated, they have a long road ahead.
But I am super pleased that Manzoor is one of the citizens who is leading the way and proving why it matters to care for the greater good by getting vaccine shots.