COVID-19 is definitely one of those health topics that has been sweeping the country for over a year now and, from the looks of things, it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic started early last year and everyone’s lives took a drastic turn. I remember when Illinois shut down businesses in mid-March of 2020, two weeks after my birthday. Due to me being an essential worker in the food industry, our business was allowed to keep operating. COVID cases began popping up heavily around the world and at my job as well. I remember the texts I used to get on a weekly basis about someone new at my job having COVID and then my job having to shut down the plant for a day to clean and sanitize. Summertime was pretty much dead last year and stay at home orders changed how people interacted with each other as more events became virtual.
Then, around December of 2020, the first COVID-19 vaccines became available to the US. It came around the time where approximately 16 million people had been infected with COVID-19 and nearly 300,000 people were killed from it. Now, I’ll admit I was weary of getting the vaccine at that time and for awhile due to the fact that I felt that it was pushed out a little too soon and it hadn’t been fully tested on enough people to convince me. I get the fact that the CDC & the government were trying to avert this pandemic in any possible way that they could by putting out an emergency authorization, but I wasn’t sold on it. I believe the first vaccine to become available was the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna & the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine came later on. After awhile, people in my family & some of my friends started getting vaccinated one by one. A couple of my relatives were wondering why I hadn’t taken the initiative yet and I stated that I was hesitant. I decided to wait and see what effects it would have on those who had already taken it. As far as my family went, some of them said that there were a few side effects, such as a sore arm and tiredness, but nothing more serious than that. Regardless, I still waited…..
There were so many different views & information coming out about the vaccine and most people stating that it was the cure to COVID-19. I soon found that to not be the case because of the breakthrough cases I started hearing about fully vaccinated people still catching the virus. That made me even more weary of taking it because it didn’t make sense to me how you could be vaccinated but still catch the virus anyway. After my mom and brother eventually got their doses, she was definitely worried about me not taking the vaccine and she kept sending me texts to encourage me to take it. I was still hesitant though so I waited still….
After awhile, the Delta variant of COVID started becoming more widespread and cases slowly started going back up again. Fully vaccinated people were in larger numbers by this time so the cases that were reported were mostly among the unvaccinated. The Delta variant was shown to be a more contagious & aggressive strand than the original and more likely to break through protections guaranteed by the vaccine. It made me wonder if this new strand is not that guarded by the vaccines, would it matter if I’m vaccinated or not? My mom, of course, started ramping up on me to get the vaccine soon. Finally she asked me why I was still hesitating and I told her my concerns. She said that she acknowledged that the vaccine isn’t the cure to COVID-19 but with the vaccine, I’m better able to fend off the virus if I catch it without possibly ending up in the hospital or dying from it. My dad was the last to get the vaccine (he was waiting around just like me) & he started getting on me about getting it as well. I thought about it & finally decided to get it after months of waiting.
I scheduled my appointment to get it at Walgreens & I got my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on August 2nd. I have a couple of weeks before I get my second dose. My parents were relieved and believe me, they were going to stay on my back about it until I finally buckled down & got it. The way that I see it is that it’s better to protect myself in the event I end up catching the virus. With the vaccine, I have a better chance of fighting it off without ending up in the hospital or dying from it. COVID-19 has taken lives of young adults around my age and it doesn’t matter if you’re seemingly healthy or not. I know there’s millions of people who are still hesitant or against taking the vaccine for personal or religious reasons. I was in your shoes at one point so believe me I understand & I don’t normally take vaccines (not even the seasonal flu vaccine). However, with this Delta variant going around, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Protect yourselves & I encourage those still hesitant to think about it at least.