A huge thank you to all the health care workers, and the vaccine makers!
I hope I'm not premature in saying this, but it's beginning to feel like we're finally on the downhill slope of the pandemic. I'm an old guy, so I'm eligible for the vaccine here in Arizona, and I'll be getting my second shot tomorrow (Pfizer). It won't be much longer after that, my wife and I will be able to hug and hang out with our grand kids, after a very hard year of keeping our distance. We'll still wear masks in public, we'll still avoid crowds, but we'll feel one heck of a whole lot safer! Just knowing that day is coming, it's like having a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders.
It's possible that we could see another setback here in the States. Between the new variants of the virus, the spring break crowds, and the premature lifting of common sense restrictions in many states (including my own), infections could easily surge again, as is happening in some parts of Europe. That's bad enough, but the thing that has me most concerned, personally, is "vaccine reluctance." All the people who are either afraid of the vaccine, or simply unwilling to take it, in many cases for political reasons?! I can understand that first group, people being nervous about possible side effects, but seriously, folks, catching the virus would be one heck of a lot worse than ANY vaccine side effect identified up to this point, and that's with millions upon millions of shots-in-arms. The vaccines are safe, and they are effective; the proof is in the dropping case load. That second reason--people refusing to take the vaccine as a matter of principle? That's got me completely baffled, because it makes no sense at all.
"Here's the deal!" (to borrow a phrase): The more people who get vaccinated, the fewer human hosts there will be to incubate and spread the disease, and the faster we reduce those numbers, the sooner we end this. Don't leave it up to everyone else. Do your part! Take the shot when it's your turn to do so, and hey, remember those road trips we've all been putting on hold? With any luck at all, I hope to see you all out there!
Happy trails--and Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Rick Quinn (Irish, all the way to the bone!)
I could not agree more! As a former health care worker myself, I will never understand why people think they know more than the professionals. Do they go to witch doctors, or worse, buy into obviously self-serving political rhetoric? Society is just that, a group taking social responsibility for each other and the general welfare. If you don't want to do that, go live in the backwoods and have no contact with anyone else, ever. I now have received both shots of the Moderna vaccine and am starting to plan this summer's trip, to the Pacific Northwest. But if the current trend continues and 40% of Americans (according to the Pew Research Center) do NOT get vaccinated, then those plans will get put on hold; I and the travel industry will suffer; herd immunity will be delayed if not prevented entirely; and variants can and will gain a foothold and maintain the spread of the disease.
AZBuck (Alas, only 1/4 Irish, AND I've developed an allergy to alcohol!)
This is anecdotal, but all the seniors I know were rushing to get vaccinated and the near seniors were complaining that they were not yet eligible for the vaccine. Maybe 40% won’t get the vaccine but I believe that most of those in the high risk population, especially seniors, will top out close to 100%. That’s what matters the most.
If it were in my power, vaccines would be mandatory for everyone. It could be done. As a healthcare worker, I was forced to get the flu vaccine every year or lose my job. There was no alternative.
Herd immunity will be reached as the unvaccinated get Covid. I suspect that most of the naysayers are in the low risk group anyway.
We can’t live like this forever.
(I’m not Irish but my sister was born on St. Patrick’s Day)
I don't want to join that fraternity
Megan and I have had both of our Pfizer shots. There are two reasons we jumped at the first opportunity to get our shots:
1) It is the right thing to do. Like Rick says, the less the humans who can act as hosts the better and we strongly feel we are supposed to do what is the best for our fellow humans -- to the extent that we can.
2) It is still possible, maybe even probable that we'll get exposed to the virus and get it -- but we are unlikely to die nor have a serious case.
Not dying alone and in pain in the hospital is a pretty big incentive for me. Having watched (from afar) close friends and family die in the last few weeks -- I don't want to join that fraternity.
I was in a group that watched as the seniors got to be vaccinated and I was not yet allowed. I'm not quite of Medicare age, am still teaching and in a hybrid situation, but the way our governor seemed to be moving the priorities around? I wasn't sure if I'd be getting the vaccine at all before I retire (SOON!). Then, San Diego County was making priority lists and it seemed rather unfair to us -- the teachers who were teaching full-time Distance Learning were in a higher priority list than those of us who have been teaching hybrid. (That means our kids come to school 2 days a week and are on Distance Learning -- which we provide online -- the other three days a week. I see half my students on T-Th, and the other half on W-F.) Finally, someone used some "common" sense and moved the Hybrid-class teachers into the eligibility mode, and I went for my first shot.
At this point, we haven't made any real summer trip plans. Our house needs to get sold (shouldn't be difficult if this buying mode continues), we will have to make a run to go rent something for us to move into temporarily, come back and then get us moved permanently. But at this point, we don't have any dates.
I know my Bro-in-law was trying to schedule a time to come and visit us, "go to Disneyland", "go out to eat on the waterfront", etc. We have no desire to go back to DL after almost a year of an annual pass (the crowds!!!) and who knows what will happen to the restaurants if we go back into purple. (We went into Red Tier yesterday; inside dining is allowed but most places have to take reservations.) As we told him, it's hard to sell your house and get moved while trying to entertain visitors, even if they're family.
Donna who doesn't have much Irish, #2 shot in 10 more days (Pfizer)