By Chris B. Bennett, The Seattle Medium
The question of the day for many of us is are you are willing to take a COVID vaccine when it is available to you. Understandably, African Americans have reason to be apprehensive when it comes to vaccinations. We’ve heard many stories about how African Americans were used as guinea pigs for vaccines, and other health studies. However, now is not the time to decide whether or not you are going to take the vaccine based on what you heard from the philosophers and/or local conspiracy theorist commonly found holding center court at your local barbershop, beauty salon or convenience store. Or to listen to the wisdom of someone over the age of 40 who hasn’t been to the doctor since they last had a physical exam in order to participate in high school sports.
Now is the time to look at all the information that is available and to make a decision based on the scientific data that is available now and in the coming months as more people around the world get vaccinated. However, the presence of a vaccine is not a green light to become reckless with your health. If you get COVID, you get COVID and have to deal with the effects that it can have on your body. It’s not like you can get COVID, go to the doctor, get the vaccine and everything will be ok in a couple of days. No, a vaccine is something that you take before you contract a virus that helps build up your immunity so that you can fight it off. Yes, most of us know this, but there are more than enough people floating around here who do not and are providing people with a false narrative.
But here is a reality check for you to think about. Why are people claiming to be waiting around for a vaccine, when they refuse to wear a mask? Why are they getting in debates on whether or not Black people should get vaccinated, when they won’t social distance themselves from others? And better yet, why are you listening to someone wearing a mask around their chin or neck, who recently held a mask-less social event at their home, hasn’t bought/made a proper mask for their kids, and has kids at home with flu like symptoms but refuses to take them to the doctor because they don’t want to pay a $25 co-pay?
Look, the purpose of this column is not to bash people, or to say who is right or who is wrong. The purpose for writing this is to get people to think beyond what they are hearing from others and act upon it because it’s what they want to hear, and to engage into your own sense of knowledge, dignity and self-worth to make decisions that you may not want to make, but are the right things to do.
COVID is here, the vaccine is here, and right now you are here. But the vaccine, whether you want to take it or not, is no good to you if you’re not around when it’s your turn to take it.
The vaccine is one tool in the fight against COVID. But it is a tool that you don’t control. You do not have control over when or where it may be available to you. So, mask up, social distance, wash your hands, and disinfect because these are the weapons against COVID that you have control over each and every day. But like any other tools that may be at your disposal, they only work if you decide to use them.
Through the eyes of an ink barrel, may peace be unto you!