Why have I decided to accept the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible?
That question has come my way repeatedly and in many ways. On and off the air. On and off social media platforms. By email. From friends and from strangers.
My decision is often challenged. I have heard and read a stream of well-intended explanations about why I shouldn’t trust a vaccine, urging that I not lose sight of possible negative consequences.
Negative consequences? It’s awfully clichéd, but getting out of bed in the morning puts into play a myriad of possibly negative consequences. In fact, going to bed is not without its own risks, should we choose to push the envelope.
I live with a coronary artery disease which, had it not been diagnosed and corrected, would most likely have claimed my life two decades ago. However, my determination to be vaccinated isn’t at all related to any latent concern about any lingering underlying medical issue, which remains well controlled.
That I will roll up my sleeve also has zero connection to vintage. I’m a boomer, which my largely well-meaning correspondents insist has the potential to chronologically kick me a bit closer to the COVID-19 precipice.
Bluntly? I don’t give a tinker’s damn about my age. In any context. Never have. I still own all the parts I arrived with except for tonsils and mostly, everything remains in good working order.
So then, why would I buck any “no vaccine for me, at least not right away” public opinion trend?
Because COVID-19 is a nasty little virus. It can and does make people very sick. COVID-19 kills — and not just the aged bearing comorbidities.
Maybe more disturbing than physical manifestation is the collective emotional toll COVID-19 exacts.
COVID-19 is placing mental health under assault by the painful social isolation it imposes. Economies are shrinking — dramatically. Small businesses are tumbling into the abyss. The unemployment rate in Canada is 8.5 per cent.
I also miss what I couldn’t abide until recently, things like a crowded elevator or sitting beside chattering and chewing patrons at sporting events or the movies.
I detest the current reality of standing on spots while waiting to reach a cashier at the supermarket.
At this juncture in any conversation about COVID-19, I’m usually invited to climb into the hamster wheel debate concerning the wearing of masks. Does the wearing of masks save lives? Are masks visible evidence of a society’s surrender? You engage in that arm-twisting if you choose. Let me know if it helps.
Like many, I do have questions about COVID-19 — questions about policies and edicts. I deplore the misery that entrepreneurs are forced to endure as they see their lives’ passions erased. I don’t want to be told that I can or can’t visit with friends and/or family.
I’m not afraid of COVID-19, but I’d rather not become its host. I’m confident I’d survive the little bug, but none of us can be certain.
It’s saddening to observe good people turning on one another over this virus. I have done exactly that and no doubt impatiently will again.
Truly awful is observing political entities engaging COVID-19 as an ally of convenience.
Look, COVID-19 is real. It’s a threat to your health and well-being and that of your family and friends. Listen to interviews I’ve aired with those who have survived an encounter.
I want out. More accurately, I want this bug out of all of our lives. Do I know for certain that an approved vaccine will safeguard me from a viral invasion? I don’t. Do I trust everyone who is pitching, “Have the vaccine”? I don’t — no more than I trust them to tax fairly.
Can I be absolutely certain I won’t experience unpleasant side effects from a vaccine? I cannot.
I can, though, listen to medical professionals whose integrity I don’t question and whose professional skills convey confidence. Based on their best advice, when coupled with my utter COVID-19 fatigue and concern about societal mental health, I will roll up my sleeve.
I so much again want to turn around at a movie theatre and say, “Would you please shut up?”
Roy Green is the host of the Roy Green Show on the Global News Radio network.
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