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The Mean Vaccine-For Better Or Worse

I just sent the past ten minutes crying the shower. I let the water fall on my back and let the water seep over my shoulders and blend in with my tears. I wondered for the first minute what was even wrong today. My anxiety is manageable and my depression is at bay, but still the tears came. Then out loud under the stream of water I said “I’m tired of all the worry”, and I am. Not the day to day worry so much that ebbs and flows with normal life, but the new form of worry we have all had to experience over the past 18 months. This worry ebbs and flows around specific highlights or headlines of the day but it remains as heightened as ever. Wear a mask , don’t wear a mask. Get the vaccine, don’t get the vaccine. Covid cases are declining, covid cases are increasing. Children aren’t carriers, children are super spreaders. The delta variant is worse, the delta variant is more transmissible, but less fatal. I’m sure I’m missing more, but you get the point.

The internet in a short 3 months went from supporting each others vaccine decisions, to alienating those we love if their decision doesn’t align with ours. As a mixed race woman in America I have experienced and seen more hate and divide than I would like to admit, but the spewing of hate and virtual conflicts surrounding this pandemic are now creating divides that never existed before, deepening the wounds of a nation already infected literally and figuratively.

This post is in no way political either. Republican or Democrat we would still be here, in the middle of a pandemic we hoped would have ended, making decisions on a vaccine that is new and a huge population who is just trying our best. In my family some of us are completely vaccinated, some of us are partially vaccinated and then some of us are not vaccinated at all. Damn it though, we are all trying to make the right decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. I am so tired of hearing “the vaccine will kill you” just as much as I am tired of hearing “I’d rather keep my distance from people who prefer to die and kill others” like seriously human people, what the hell is wrong with you? We have all been thrown into making the most difficult decisions of our lives ( and I’ve had to make life support decision on my own child) with fluctuating information and to be honest, fluctuating results. The vaccine was supposed to make it go away and now we are in a surge because of a new variant. As a board certified medical professional it’s a lot to take in. I can only imagine as a non-medical professional how much more there is to learn and understand. Why can’t we all just give each other some grace? Nobody wants to die, nobody! You can agree or disagree with that based on a status of a vaccination but I promise you everyone is just trying to LIVE, to survive what the media keeps reminding us is unsurvivable. I have done much research, I have seen, read, and listened to more than my eyes and ears at times can keep up with and I still have so many unanswered questions because right now, nobody and I mean nobody has all the answers. We are winging this thing as a world, a nation, a government, an individual. The only thing I am certain of is that we are all trying to do the “right” thing. Just because you follow directions doesn’t mean they are right and just because you don’t follow directions doesn’t mean they were wrong. We should all be a little wishy-washy about what to do, even if we have already made our decision. Nothing about this is easy, normal, relieving or fixed!

I’m just so tired of seeing judgement from all sides when the worry in itself is more than enough. When you are thrown into the unknown, the best advice to me was always to make a decision based on the information you know at that time. The problem with this working now is that much of the information changes, frequently, by the week, day and sometimes hours so making any decision is a risk. Nobody wants to risk their life by making a decision out of fear and nobody wants to risk their life by avoiding a decision either. This is just so complex. Nobody wants regrets, but I’m certain everyone wants to be alive for them should they appear. Be easy on the internet. The nation’s mental health has drastically declined since the beginning of the pandemic, which means suicide rates have drastically increased. Please intentionally try to understand different opinions, decisions, and choices even if they are not your own. Please above all else, be kind.

Words can kill even if you think a vaccine can’t.

Words can kill even if you think a vaccine can.

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