Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Getting the COVID-19 Vaccination to Help My Family

Being vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus was a decision I made for my personal health. When the vaccinations first came out, there was some concern because the vetting process was fast-tracked because of the pandemic dangers. However, my 'older-than-65' group was not the first to receive the vaccinations, and when my group hit the front of the line a couple months into the vaccination process, I had read enough to convince myself that the risks assessed to the covid shot were exponentially less than the risks of the actual virus, especially since I was not frail in health, with pre-existing health issues, or with a history of allergic reactions. 

I remember one open-letter I read that used the numbers 1/250 and 1/250,000 when assessing the relative risks of the virus and the vaccination. That is to say, using an analogy, if you were borrowing a car to drive to a town an hour away, which car would you borrow--the car with one chance in 250 to break down, or the one with one chance in a quarter million? I also remember one doctor commenting on "speculation regarding possible negative side effects" by simply stating that the speculation provided no scientific evidence that such concerns were viable. Personally, for me, the real dangers of the virus out-weighed the fears that there might be something out there about the vaccinations that we don't know about, especially after millions have received successful vaccinations. 

I looked at the research, the speculation, the objective results, listened to the experts, considered the empirical data--and then signed up. The "signing up" for me was early enough in the game that some real research and footwork was required, due to the lack of a centralized sign-up system and a central information source. I didn't just receive my vaccination for myself, though, and not just society's health. I also received my vaccination for my family. I am the first in my family to receive a covid vaccination. I think that's a significant event. At one point there was the consideration of what would happen if our children became sick and were hospitalized with the virus. Who would take care of the kids or grandkids? Now that I am vaccinated, I can for the sake of my family take advantage of my vaccination and care for my family by myself if necessary. I would follow the protocols but would also have an over 90 percent effectiveness rate for not catching the virus, and an almost 100% effectiveness of lesser severity if I were to get sick. Yes, there are the variants, but my vaccination certainly does not increase my risk of infection by a variant strain of the coronavirus. I have, so to speak, one more layer of protection for myself than the rest of my family.

My point is that I'm situated to provide assistance to my family until others are immunized. Science indicates that it would be safer for me to tend to family members exposed to the virus than for those who are not yet immunized, should someone be hospitalized or immobilized. I find that personally comforting. Now that my parents have passed, I don't have to worry about traveling long distances to care for them, which would be more difficult if I weren't immunized, especially if they had been vaccinated and I had not--or even if they had not been vaccinated, since they were very frail in their last years. My life has become focused on our family of twelve who all live in the same town. 

I can focus on my family here at home. My physiology can be the family's rampart to keep danger at bay, if necessary. There are always dangers, but I've done what I can to keep everyone safe. That's why, in fact, I researched and made sure I was vaccinated as early as I could for my age group. I hustled and put myself at the front of my family, at the front of the line. I don't just see my immunization as a protection for me; I also see it as a weapon that I can use against the virus to defend my family. It's a strange world in which prudence makes me powerful.

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  1. Well done Tom! And very well expressed

    1. Thank you. There's so little we can do except the basic behavior protocols. I saw getting the vaccination as one more safety measure.