by Charles S. Oaxpatu
African-American Folks—-If You Really Mean It—-
Please Take the COVID-19 Vaccine ASAP
Today was my lucky day! I attended my scheduled appointment and received my first dose of the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. The injection process was done by kind and friendly people with a happy attitude. My wait in the car line took only a few minutes of my time, the medication injected easily with only minimal stick pain. I was asked to park my car and wait for 15 minutes just on the far outside possibility that some negative reaction might occur. None did. Ten and one-half hours have passed since the injection, and I feel great, relaxed, and happy. Overall, it was a wonderful experience—-kind of like getting a massage. The friendly people made it that way.
The good folks who provided the vaccine gave me a card with an already scheduled appointment date and time for my second Moderna vaccine shot. All I have to do is show up at the same place a few weeks from now and get it. I am honestly looking forward to it. After one year and a half month of sequestering inside my home to avoid COVID-19 infection, I feel as if the curtain on a horror play is finally descending. The smell of freedom and approaching normalcy is finally—-at long last—-in the air of spring.
However, I am not going to be a dumb bunny about this. Taking a first shot of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine does not provide any degree of instant immunity within the human body. It takes several weeks for immunity to slowly build up within a person’s body in response to the first shot of vaccine. After the second shot, it takes another several weeks for full 95 percent (or thereabouts) immunity to be achieved. Therefore, I am going to continue wearing my face masks (double-masked KN95), doing social distancing, and washing my hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds over the next few weeks. I will continue doing the same for several weeks after my second shot. What then? I will continue face masking, social distancing, and washing my hands until Dr. Fauci and the CDC figure out which way the wind is blowing with the various mutational covariants of COVID-19. You know the old saying:
Better Safe than Sorry!
Based on my own vaccine experience today, personal reading on the COVID-19 vaccines, and numerous network news reports on the vaccines, I have concluded to my own personal satisfaction that the three major vaccines approved for use in the United States are safe to take and effective against the virus for the vast majority of the American people. Moreover, when you get your shots, I would predict you will experience a degree of relaxation and well-being that you have not experienced in well over a year. It really is like feeling a 200-pound weight of darkness, fear, and despair being suddenly lifted from your back and mind. The good feeling is almost indescribable because most of us have become all too familiar with that heavy weight—-like it is some sort of new normal.
The Wonderful Vaccine I Took Today
And now—–here are some amusing ramblings to make a key point:
(1) Some Christian Fundamentalists and Conservative Evangelicals are refusing to take any of the COVID-19 vaccines because they fear the presence of a secret computer microchip in each injected dose of vaccine. They believe this microchip is the “Mark of the Beast” in the Bible—-Book of Revelation. According to the fundie narrative, the anti-Christ (Monsieur 666) will one day rule the world and command imposition of the mark on the forehead and hand of every world citizen who wants to buy and sell goods in the marketplaces. Any faithful Christian who takes the mark will be damned to Hell by God and spend all eternity in unspeakable torture so great the human mind is incapable of comprehending it.
If the fundies are right, the COVID-19 vaccine I took today has imprinted the “Mark of the Beast” on me. They would say I no longer have any hope. However, I can tell you one thing for sure. Between now and my dying day, I will have easy access to purchasing deli ham, Swiss cheese, rye bread with caraway seeds, mustard, kraut, potato chips, and anything else in the grocery store. If the fundies make their usual no hope pronouncement on me, like they do with so many other Christians and nonChristians, I will at least go to Hell with the memory of tasty food, no hunger, and a satisfied tummy. (LOL)
(2) I would guess you have either read about these people or have seen an interview with one on TV. They sound something like this:
Yep. Trump is my man! I voted for him twice. You do know he is The Anointed One of the Lord. He is a bonafide stable genius who can do no wrong. They stole that 2020 election from him. I so much want him to be my president again. If he runs in 2024, I am going to campaign my heart out for him.
What? Am I going to get a COVID-19 vaccine shot or two? Why Hell no!!! Trump developed those vaccines at warp speed. There’s gotta be something wrong with them. No way am I having any of that stuff inside my body!!!
Really? Your political hero Is approved by God himself. He is a stable genius who can do no wrong and was behind developing these vaccines—-but—-you are afraid to take them? You do see the irony here—-I hope. (LOL)
(3) Maybe you have heard or read about Americans who are something like this guy:
No! I do not wear a face mask. I am never going to wear a face mask. I hate the people who do, and I ain’t gettin’ no COVID-19 vaccine. That’s my protest against Joe Biden and how he stole that election from Trump at the finish line.
Yes. I am LOL at this incredibly ignorant man—and so are you!!!
(4) Some people are so memorable! No matter how hard you might try, you can never get them and their words out of your mind because you have heard them for more than one year. Here is a paraphrasal of what I have heard:
That there COVID-19 virus is a hoax perpetrated by the socialist liberals and progressives who hate “America the Beautiful” and are trying to take her down in the name of Marxism-Leninism?
Hell no!! I’m not taking any vaccine. Why should I take a vaccine for a viral infection that doesn’t even exist? That would be just plain silly. I don’t know a single person who has caught this nonexistent virus, and I certainly don’t know any person who has died from it.
Seriously? Do you listen to the propaganda lies on local conservative talk radio? Sounds like it. You need a better news source—-and it is not FOX News. Maybe you should have a conversation with the 30+ million Americans who have been badly sickened and/or organ-maimed by this imaginary virus of yours. Maybe you could fall down on year knees and ask Jesus to give you a conversation with the 550,000 Americans who have died from your imaginary virus. Maybe you could personally go to a local hospital and ask them to show you the frozen corpses in their overflow tractor-trailer-truck morgue. I want to see the look on your face when those body bags are unzipped for you? (LOL)
(5) Then there are all of those terribly deceived and hysterical anti-vaccer moms out there on the American landscape. You know—-the ones who sound something like this:
My little Freddie has Asperger’s Syndrome, and I feel sure it was caused by some sort of vaccine he took. That’s what my best friend Fran told me. She studies up on this stuff at all the anti-vaccine websites. Look at this article on vaccine and ADD. It was written by a world famous professional wrestler! If it’s out there on the Internet…well…it must be true. Right?
Wrong! You cannot believe everything you read on the Internet and everything Fran tells you. A lot of misinformation, fool’s gold, and downright lies are present on numerous websites throughout the world. Legitimate medical studies on vaccines have shown no clear causative links between vaccines and most diseases. If little Freddie has Asperger’s Syndrome, it probably came from some as yet unknown source, like maybe genetic/developmental misfortune, a chemical food additive, radiation exposure, or maybe….just maybe….that crystal meth you were downing for 10 straight years before you got pregnant. Get out of here! (LOL)
What is my point? Simply this. All kinds of crazy people—-with crazy ideas—-have come up with all sorts of ridiculous—-and I do mean ridiculous—-excuses to avoid taking the COVID-19 vaccine. Worst of all, they use those same ridiculous excuses to convince their friends, business associates, and strangers to avoid taking the COVID-19 vaccine. With little doubt, in my mind at least, many of these so-called convincers are not very intelligent, just plain ignorant, poorly informed by groundless conspiracy theories, or mentally ill. In all cases, you are being informed about COVID-19 and the vaccines to fight it by assorted people who are detached from everyday reality. They live in some sort of fantasy world with each dawning day, and you are their potential victim.
Please!!! I am pleading with you. COVID-19 is real. If you have not been sickened by it so far, good for you. Nonetheless, your time may still be coming. Whether you are healthy or not makes no difference. The virus goes after healthy athletes, weak old grannies, and anyone in between. The virus does not care. All it wants to do is enter your cells and eat you alive. That is just what it does. It is programmed by nature, but it is blind and indiscriminate in action. It is an eating machine, and it may eat you alive if it can find you. The best known defense against it is a good offense. That offense is the COVID-19 vaccine.
What’s in it for you—-a member of the “me first” generation of the 1960s and 1970s. You know—-the generation that was going to be young forever and never die. You later learned that such teen aspirations were a mere mirage. However, you can prevent getting organ-maimed for life or becoming a dead person too soon. If you do not care about anyone else in the entire world except for yourself, which is often typical of your age cohort, then please take care of yourself and get a COVID-19 vaccine shot ASAP. Yes, you got old. You wanted to live forever. You discovered that was not possible—-but you can live longer if you take the vaccine. Nike knows:
Just do it!!!