I know that many of my friends have so far refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
I understand why people are reluctant to trust government – they have betrayed us SO MANY times, in such devastating ways. And I understand why people are wary of the pharmaceutical industry, especially given what happened with Oxycontin and the fact that there have been 400,000 opioid-related deaths in the United States since.
I don’t blame anyone for being suspicious of government, politicians, or the pharmaceutical industry.
I believe we should all have the right to make choices about our own health care. I think if you don’t want to get the vaccine you shouldn’t have to. I really do.
But part of âfree choiceâ is choosing to get vaccinated. Saying âyesâ to the vaccine is just as powerful as saying ânoâ.
Getting vaccinated is as much a flex of our rights as not receiving it.
This is the part that I hope we can all consider.
Some people – even people you love and appreciate – may say that you are weak to get the vaccine. They may call you a “sheep”.
But making a choice based on your own wisdom – a choice for your own health and the health of those you interact with – does NOT make you a blind follower.
We are ALL influenced by our political parties and social groups. Studies have shown that both sides misunderstand Covid and are plagued by misinformation.
These blind assumptions are reinforced by our friends and families, and we have built SO MUCH distrust between the “camps” that we now feel like traitors if we break away from our social or political groups – and that is VERY dangerous.
My family has been spending a lot of time in the pediatric cardiologist’s office lately (a long story, but all kids are fine; it’s a genetic thing but we’re doing well!) And I want to share what I learned in getting to know the pediatric cardiology teams at CHLA and St. Johns.
Pediatric cardiologists see a lot of patients who have heart problems because they have contracted Covid. They didn’t even have to get very sick from Covid to develop complications like myocarditis and other heart muscle problems. Some resolve themselves; some do not appear.
I asked our pediatric cardiologist if he had seen a lot of teenagers who had myocarditis from the Covid vaccine.
He does not have. He told me that he sees 10 patients a day and that there have been no cases of vaccine-related myocarditis in his office.
But they have had a number of cases of myocarditis likely due to Covid infection.
I asked him if myocarditis IS a risk factor with the Covid vaccine and he said YES it is.
And that’s the part I want my more progressive friends to take in. I always hear people say that there are no side effects to these vaccines. There can be! It’s just VERY rare.
What I hope my friends on the right will hear is that the risk of cardiopulmonary (heart and lungs) side effects from Covid infection is ** A LOT ** higher because of the infection to Covid than because of the vaccine – even in adolescents.
I just want to repeat this: the risk of even a mild Covid injuring your son’s heart is MUCH higher than the risk of a vaccine.
So I understand why people still resist the vaccine. I think being wary of the government is actually a pretty smart thing to do!
But now we know that 98% of people who have died from Covid in the United States are unvaccinated – adults of all ages – and therefore we know that vaccines work very well in preventing disability and death caused by Covid.
Here are some statistics for the state of Texas, a very âredâ state, for my friends who trust the red states more:
âUnvaccinated people were 20 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people. “
I love my friends, even my unvaccinated friends. I don’t want them to die or go through what one of my colleagues, seriously disabled from Covid at 30, went through.
Our political divisions have made us suspicious of each other. We make fun of each other and get into screaming matches. Families are torn apart because of this vaccine battle.
No one changes their minds about vaccines when we laugh at each other. In the United States, people are currently dying at the rate of 1,300 ** per day ** – and almost all of them are not vaccinated.
I do. Not. To want. My. Not vaccinated. Friends. Pass away.
I don’t want you to lose your spouses to Covid. I don’t want your kids to have cardiopulmonary damage from Covid.
This vaccine has been around for some time. Tens of millions of people in the United States have received their vaccines and are alive and well.
There are risks, but these are usually extremely mild side effects, such as a sore arm or feverish symptoms for a few days. Serious risks are so rare that they are almost impossible to quantify compared to the risk of dying from Covid, even for healthy people.
If you’ve been suspicious so far, I understand.
But if you’re an independent thinker, now is the time to reassess what’s best for YOU and your family. There is more info now. Try to step away from politics and see if the vaccine might be right for you now.
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I’m sick of both parties sharing misinformation about Covid and being cruel to each other.
There are no sheep here. There are disinformation agents who lie to people (most of them were found in Russia, who would love to see us fail!) And there are people who do their best to do what’s right for their families.
I don’t know of any anti-vaccines that do this for some reason other than to think they’re protecting their families. In general, none of them are stupid – and we have to stop saying it.
So let’s identify all of our biases, seek out reliable sources, and make our own decisions.
Today is a great day to get the vaccine – but don’t take my word for it, watch the studies yourself (just make sure they’re from reputable medical journals, not just opinion pieces), ask doctors you trust and make the decision for yourself.
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Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer, editor and media critic who focuses on parenting and gender issues.
This article originally appeared on Facebook. Reprinted with permission from the author.