If you don’t want to take the COVID-19 vaccine, I would like to thank you. Sincerely.
You’re making it possible for people who actually want to help build the great country that we should be living in, to make a positive contribution. Undocumented migrants are getting the J&J shot as I write this.
Right now, there’s a virtual board meeting happening (or at least an email chain) that is discussing your future inclusion in the economy. Hell, I’m already halfway closer to international travel than you are; all I need to do is win the lottery and wait for my second Pfizer shot.
We’re approaching an era of vaccine passports and private sector pressure that will have you sweating more than a Makro manager in KZN. Your beliefs will be tested to its breaking point.
You will come to internalise the meaning of “you can’t sit with us.”
You are already a cautionary tale I tell my kids. No, I don’t wish anything bad on you, but you make an awesome example of what ignorance looks like.
“How can they make vaccines so fast?” you ask, as if you haven’t lived in a time where pocketable supercomputers become obsolete in a calendar year. In my lifetime alone we have progressed from vinyl records to having close to the entire world’s catalogue of music available in high resolution, lossless formats at a cost of R50 per month (and whatever your data connection is).
Trillions of rands was spent to give the smartest scientists and engineers the best possible chance to develop a countermeasure to SARS-CoV-2.
“But what about the side effects? I don’t want to be injected with the virus, and I have been safe so far!” you exclaim, as you pat yourself on the back for your good fortune.
At this point I really shouldn’t be able to tell you anything you haven’t already heard about how the vaccines work. As I type this my body is ramping up its immune response to the mRNA that has stimulated Ace 2 receptor spike protein growth. I was hosptialised the last time my body encountered these proteins and my immune system is battle hardened, if a little aggressive in its approach to the freshly introduced contaminant.
Sore throat, inflamed lymph nodes, mild body ache. A fraction of what I endured with my Beta variant infection, but just enough to trigger my PTSD.
My vaccination experience was very good. My wife and I booked our time through Discovery and were ushered a head of two elderly people who arrived at the vaccination station an hour before their appointment. We pay for convenience, after all.
That couple could’ve walked in at any other non-Discovery vaccination site and be moved to the front of the queue. Government has done everything in its power to make the life and economy saving intervention accessible to the widest number of eligible South Africans.
When we reach population immunity and COVID-19 is finally reduced to an endemic disease that doesn’t claim 500 citizens per week, you can thank us vaccinated folk.
But until then, I thank you for bravely volunteering to gamble in the control group of this great experiment. I thank you for potentially offering up your place in the economy so that my family has one less person to compete against for resources.
Maybe I’ll buy you a beer when I see you again.