A few weeks ago I figured it might be June or July before I could receive a COVID-19 vaccine. But things have changed rapidly and on Thursday this week I received my first shot. It was a simple process.
On Monday of this week I received an email with a link to a website to sign up for the vaccine. I clicked on the link and filled out a handful of questions. The next day I received a call telling me I could receive my first vaccination Thursday.
On Thursday, as instructed, I went to the Highland County YMCA where the shots were being given. The worst part of the whole process was the drenching rain as I walked inside. After that, pretty much all I had to do was go where someone pointed me to go.
Once I received my shot, which, by the way, I basically did not feel, I was pointed to another table where I was given a timer. It was set at 15 minutes and was counting down as soon as it was handed it to me. I took a seat, waited my 15 minutes, returned the timer when the buzzer went off, and was on my way back to work.
There are too many people to thank for the ease of the whole process, but they certainly deserve a tip of the hat.
I know some people have had tough reactions to the shots, but at the time of this writing I am about 26 hours removed from receiving that first shot. To date, I have experienced absolutely no reaction other than a little soreness in the arm where the shot was given. And the soreness feels like nothing more than a bruise.
My wife had her first shot on a Friday two weeks ago. She had a sore arm the next day, too, along with general muscle aches and feeling exhausted. But by Sunday she was up for church and then a trip to Cincinnati to visit a son, his wife and their new granddaughter. She even drove both ways.
It is everyone’s right to decide whether they want to be vaccinated or not. And while I understand why some people are hesitant, I would like everyone out there to seriously consider it. Because it’s real simple — as simple as getting the shot. Unless the large majority of not just Highland County residents, but pretty much the population of the entire globe is not vaccinated, COVID-19 is never going to go away.
Remember how the whole thing started from a single town in China (or at least that’s what we’ve been told)? Remember how fast it spread across the globe? Well, if the vast majority of people are not vaccinated, what makes you think it will not happen again?
I’m tired of not visiting my favorite restaurants without masks and such. I’m tired of not going to ball games. I’m tired of wearing a mask, social distancing, and not greeting some with a handshake. I’m tired of getting out of my car, walking up to a store, seeing people wearing masks and remembering that I left mine in the car, then having to walk back out to the car to retrieve it.
It’s been a year now since the pandemic struck here. We’re going to be under restrictions a good bit longer. But the sooner this pandemic ends, the better. Don’t you agree?
I even partly get it when some people refuse to be vaccinated for no other reason than their belief that it is their right to refuse. But c’mon. We’ve all, at least most everyone in this country, been vaccinated multiple times since we were toddlers. So really, what are you afraid of?
People are dying from this thing. I believe the numbers are overinflated here in the United States, but I also believe they are likely largely underreported in many countries. So, why would you not help protect your fellow man? Or are you the kind of person who does not care to help others?
C’mon. Get vaccinated. Just do it. It’s pretty simple.
Jeff Gilliland is the editor of The Times-Gazette. He can be reached at email@example.com or 937-402-2522.