Last week, I got a surprise in my inbox.
I was invited to make an appointment to get the Covid-19 vaccine and within 24 hours, I had the vaccine in my arm. I won't lie; I was ecstatic!
I know millions of people are hesitating to get the vaccine. In fact, I'm pretty sure my good fortune was due to others declining the opportunity because the vaccine was suddenly opened up to my group after the vaccine provider vaccinated everyone who wanted it in the previous group. In fact, the nurse who vaccinated me told me I was getting one of those "extra" doses that the vaccine vials often yield.
In case it's helpful, here are my reasons why I got vaccinated without hesitation and probably you should, too.
- It's my civic duty. Similar to voting, getting vaccinated is something I do because I am a good citizen. Like millions of others, I risked Covid-19 to cast my vote in the last election. We create a better society for all by participating in these events. It's is the least we can do for each other.
- It's safer than Covid-19. Like any major mass event, this pandemic has spawned or revived numerous memes, many pejorative, like Super-spreader, Anti-masker, and Free-riders. The last are folks who hope to benefit from herd immunity by letting everyone else risk the side effects of the vaccines, but as one physician said at the holistic/medical health service where I got the vaccine, "This is a very clean vaccine." The active molecule breaks up within hours after triggering your immune response, and exits the body. There are no preservatives, which can sometimes be toxic, no major allergens, and the basic components are common to the human diet: protein, lipids, sucrose. She recommended that those with serious allergies check with their allergists before getting it, but predicted it would be safe for others. My thinking is: I already know Covid-19 is a terrible disease that can destroy organ systems even in those who survive. Why risk definite dangers to avoid unknown, and possibly nonexistent, vaccine side effects?
- Experts say we should all get vaccinated as soon as we can. The sooner millions get full immunity, the sooner the pandemic will slow down for everyone and we can get back to the lives we used to enjoy. Ethicists and public health experts urge everybody to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- I didn't have the option of giving my appointment to someone else. Although I'm in a high-risk group, I can work from home because I'm a coach, so I would rather essential workers got vaccinated before people like me. Most of the time, though, you can't give your appointment away, so use it. I feel immensely grateful to have received the vaccine early.
- Positivity won't be enough to protect against Covid-19. I heard one spiritual young woman claim, "If you don't believe in the virus, you won't get it." If you analyze her statement, it's obvious she does believe in the virus. She is gaslighting herself, a form of toxic positivity. I'm all for healthy positivity and it does help boost people's immune systems, but it's a boost, not total immunity. I tend to agree with the Centers for Spiritual Living who teach that our thoughts guide our outcomes and may help keep us healthy and one of the ways good health comes to us is via medical intervention.
- Mental health. Psychologists say one of the worst effects of the pandemic has been the uncertainty. We can't plan our lives, much less live them, because we don't know how long or how bad the pandemic will be or whether we and our loved ones will survive it. That unknowing is brutal. I now know when I will have full immunity and, although infectious disease experts urge everyone who is vaccinated to continue wearing masks and taking basically the same precautions as everybody else, it is mentally freeing to know the danger is coming to and end for me and eventually, for everyone.
Ironically, something else helped even more in the short-run.
N95 masks are again available to the general public. When worn properly, they are 95% effective at protecting you from inhaling the virus. They can be worn repeatedly as long as they fit your face snuggly. I got a shipment the same afternoon I got my vaccine appointment and at first I thought I wouldn't need them, but I realized it would take several weeks to get full immunity from the vaccine. With these new, more powerful masks, I feel much safer getting out of the house and enjoying some normalcy. I highly recommend them. Just be careful to buy them from a reliable retailer, because there a many fakes already. Don't get them from a drifty website or from the "marketplace" of a big retailer, which may not have vetted the sellers. Your masks should be NIOSH approved and have the Health and Human Services logo (unfortunately, some of the fakes appear to also have these stamps of approval, so pay a little extra to a mainstream retailer and get the real thing.)
I hope this helps! Stay safe and be well.
Most of the time, I write about coaching. If you're interested in becoming a coach, please download the free Become a Coach eBook.