We are seeing a resurgence of the Covid-19 and variants which had been predicted to happen due to relaxing precautions and celebrating Independence Day, family reunions, and other large gatherings while ignoring mask wearing and social distancing.
I was appalled to learn that Holmes and Washington counties have one of the lowest rates of immunizations in the state.
The five and one-half hours we endured for our first round of shots led me to believe that most of those eligible were in line for the shots. How I prayed for the scientists to find an immunization rapidly and was so thankful when one had been developed. I thought every one felt the same way.
Now, I am appalled to learn that so many are refusing to get the shots. I have searched to find reasons some are refusing. One obvious reason is lack of access. That may be a valid reason for some in isolated circumstances, but it is no longer true for the majority. Trypanophobia or fear of needles is also listed as a minor holdup for some who may experience dizziness, fainting, or blood pressure fluctuation, but that is a very small numbers. Others claim fear of the ingredients, skepticism of the government, and an anti-science platform. Some reject all immunizations fearing that they cause Autism.
Here in our small community, we have seen firsthand the results of this Covid-19 pandemic. I personally know families who have lost multiple members to it. We have lost close friends to it. Even today, we are facing funeral plans for the third member of one local family. Others are facing long-term health problems due to this killer.
So I have no sympathy for those who think of themselves as better informed than health professionals. Many of them are too young to have experienced the threat of many diseases that my generation and even earlier have faced.
For example, my parents lost a child to Whooping Cough, something my children and children today are routinely immunized for. Diphtheria, smallpox, even chicken pox which I and all my children had, measles and mumps are just some of the illness that children were expected to have. Polio or infantile paralysis was a dreaded disease that crippled or killed many children and young adults before the Salk Vaccine became available in 1956. I don’t know of anyone who refused to get it. Everyone lined up at the high school cafeteria and gladly received our sugar cube with the pink liquid on it.
Many of those who refuse the Covid vaccination are staunch Republicans. As many as 41 percent have not gotten it. This is not logical as most of us are supporters of former President Trump, and one of the greatest accomplishments of his presidency was the speed with which the vaccine was developed. Also, he was vaccinated even though he had earlier contracted the virus.
A lot of those not receiving the immunization are young people who think of themselves as better informed than we older generation.
Most of them are more computer literate and have access to more information. They live in a time of more individual freedom or at least more freedom to choose. When I was in school at Brackin, the one room school we attended, the nurse would show up one day and we got whatever shots they were giving that day. No parental permission was required. Our parents were just happy for us to take whatever was given. Even the hookworm specimen bottles were welcomed.
I remember that Perry and Max, two of my brothers, were not in time to send theirs back to the school to be sent off with everyone else’s, so Perry had to meet the mail carrier, Mr. Lurie Stott, with their little double wrapped jars.
When Mr. Stott saw what they had, he threw them into the floor of his mail car with a most disgusting look.
Our lives contain so many rules and regulations today that some may refuse the shots because that is one thing they can control. But we must take personal responsibility for all our actions.
We need to not only protect ourselves from infection of this dangerous virus, but we must also think of the common good.
Get the vaccine. Wear a mask ... again. Whatever it takes to end this pandemic.
We thought with the numbers of vaccinations that we could go back to living our normal lives, but not yet. We were warned that variants can occur just as they have with the flu virus. We see it happening.
Just as it is with flu, we may have to continue to get a booster or a shot every year, but whatever it takes to get this pandemic gone, we must be responsible and do our part.
Will you do your part?
Hazel Wells Tison is a Holmes County resident and the writer of “Happy Corner,” a column frequently featured on the “Reflections” page.