Wellness Wednesday: How Getting the Vaccine Has Opened Up Our Life

A PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll released Thursday found that 41 percent of Republicans – and 49% of GOP men – said they wouldn’t get vaccinated. One such person in Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley was quoted by AP national political reporter Jill Colvin and her St. Louis AP colleague Heather Hollingsworth for their recent article on how GOP worries threaten the vaccine rollout.

I just don’t believe we need vaccinations. I don’t think it is the way God intended for us to be. The majority of my friends and the people that I associated with, the people that we go to church with, we don’t wear masks, we don’t get the shots. I don’t know why people are so terrified of this. It is nothing worse than a flu.

75-year-old Republican, Ron Holloway, quoted in article by Jill Colvin and Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press

How “God intended for us to be.” Hmm. Makes me think of an old joke. The river has flooded and water surrounds a house. It climbs past the first floor, then the second floor, and then approaches the roof, to where the home’s sole inhabitant has fled. A rescue crew comes by in a rowboat and offers to take the man to safety. No, he says, God will save me. An hour later, the water is lapping at the man’s feet when a second rescue boat comes by. Once again, the man refuses to leave his perch. God will save me, he repeats, as the water closes in on him. He drowns and goes to heaven, where he asks God why He didn’t save him.

Who do you think sent the boats?

God

Vaccines are a miracle

The fact that we have three vaccines — and more being developed — just a year into this catastrophic pandemic is nothing short of miraculous. Maybe it’s science, maybe it’s divine intervention, and maybe it’s both.

Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press

Immunization is freeing

My husband and I are now among the more than 110 million Americans immunized against the coronavirus and able to resume interacting with the populated world after living apart from others for twelve months. And that was on top of being hospitalized for three months overseas and frail for much of the previous year. I’ve never been so happy to make doctors’ appointments.

And it was a very big deal to go for a drive to one of our favorite towns, Delray Beach, on Sunday, a beautiful day with no agenda. What fun to wander down shop-lined streets together for the first time since our 2018 trip Amsterdam, although we were shocked by the number of maskless pedestrians, and not just college students on Spring Break. The beach was packed. We wore our masks the whole time. Although 56 percent of Palm Beach County voters went for Biden last November, it clearly isn’t only Republicans who are ambivalent about the coronavirus.

Picture-perfect Delray Beach, other than too many packed people. Photo: Jane Kelly Amerson López

Mask and vaccines save us

…if we get stuck at 60 or 65% vaccinated, we are going to continue to see significant outbreaks and real challenges in our country, and it’s going to be much, much harder to get back to what we think is normal unless we can get that number higher.

Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, quoted in article by Jill Colvin and Heather Hollingsworth, Associated Press

Although we are beginning to see the light at the end of this very long tunnel, it will have been just a mirage unless we all work harder at doing the right thing. President Biden pleaded with us to wear a mask and get a vaccine. Listen to the man. And that light at the end of the tunnel might just turn out to be July 4 fireworks.

I need you.

President Joe Biden
President Biden during his March 11 televised address

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