Please get vaccinated
During the past few months three different vaccines have been introduced to combat COVID-19 as health officials and the government work to control the horrific pandemic that has killed more than a half million people in our country alone. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and even children, have died during this tragedy and our hearts have sunked each day as we lose our loved ones.
My spirits have been lifted since we have a weapon to combat this disease and to bring back hope to our community as we strive to reach a new normalcy into our lives.
I received the Moderna vaccine, and recently was given my second dosage. I felt relieved and blessed at the same time. In October, my wife and I contracted COVID, and honestly, I was frightened. Sure, I was worried about its impact on my physical being, but I was more concerned about its impact on my wife because I have seen too many stories dealing with how this deadly disease has devasted families and loved ones. People of color have a higher death rate than other demographics, and I was on pins and needles thinking that my family might become one of the statistics negatively impacted.
What I can’t understand though, is the hesitancy among many Americans to not take a vaccine. Knowing how this disease can cripple families and take the lives of loved ones, people in our community still are hesitating to take the vaccine. The history regarding people of color being used on experimental basis is a part of the issues. The 40-year Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in the African American male study was a major violation of ethical standards. Researchers knowingly failed to treat participants appropriately after penicillin was proven to be an effective treatment for syphilis and became widely available.
As an African American, I had my conspiracy theories in place as well. I wanted to wait until I could see how others react to the vaccine. My thinking was if I see a person who has taken the vaccine grow an arm out of their head then I would know this might not be good for me. I did not see it and I saw others rushing to get vaccinated. I am not saying just follow the crowd, but I am saying that everyone is tired of this pandemic and herd immunity is all that is available. We have the means to truly end this pandemic and to attain some sort of normalcy in our communities and therefore our country. This time our government has the greatest of intentions as leaders work to save lives and bring back our economy. I pray that you truly take the vaccination and let us begin this spring and summer in an atmosphere where we can laugh, play and hug together and regain our spirit of community.