Demystifying Vaccines

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Although I am not a public health scientist, I do know that I don’t want to go on a ventilator because of a COVID-19 infection. Nor do I want to die alone.

During the late 1980’s, the shingles virus came upon me like a horde of armed bandits without mercy. Shingles established a ring of fire from my belly button to my spine on one side of my body. When I researched the shingles virus, I learned that it could be one of the most painful diseases known to humankind. Guess what, there was not a vaccine and the pain-relieving medicines were not very good. Prayer helped my attitude and determine to persevere until relief arrived.  Yes, I suffered.

A few friends have asked me, should I take the vaccine for shingles. My response has been “get your beautiful self to the nearest pharmacy and beg them to inoculate you.” Of course, check with your trusted physician for advice, but keep in mind the alternatives can be life changing.

Skeptical about vaccines? Consider that when I was in elementary school, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough were feared and killed thousands of children before the vaccine. Not only did science create vaccines for pneumonia, polio, German measles and smallpox, science is on the cusp of creating a vaccine for forms of cancer and HIV-AIDS.

Again, TRUTH MATTERS, FACTS MATTER and HONESTY MATTERS. Although we don’t know all the long-term effects of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the element of risk is small compared to the benefits.

Ex-POTUS Barack Obama and George Bush, and Dr. Anthony Fauci will put points on the board by taking the vaccine.

For those readers with a scholarly inclination, know that germs and society’s response can change the course of history. Meditate on this excerpt from a recommended book, “GUNS, GERMS and STEEL,” by author Jared Diamond.

“The importance of lethal microbes in human history is well illustrated by Europeans conquest and depopulation of the New World. Far more native Americans died in bed from Eurasian germs than on the battlefield from Europeans guns and swords. Those germs undermined Indian resistance by killing most Indians and their leaders and by sapping the survivor’s morale…. 1519 600 Spaniards facing fiercely militaristic Aztec empire with a population of millions…

“What gave the Spaniards a decisive advantage was smallpox, which reached Mexico in 1520 with one infected slave arriving from Spanish Cuba. The resulting epidemic proceeded to kill nearly half of the Aztecs…Aztec survivors were demoralized by the mysterious illness that killed Indians and spared Spaniards…By 1618, Mexico’s initial population of 20 million had plummeted to about 1.6 million.”

Ignorance can become deadly when it pushes against science. If we don’t get a grip on “Lord COVID-19,” unnecessary millions will perish. Our struggle for freedom, justice and equality will stall because we will lose too many leaders and fighters and become demoralized as a community.