I never gave vaccinations a second thought until I became a mother. My oldest was born in 2007, at the height of the MMR/Autism scare. I spent my maternity leave watching Jenny McCarthy recklessly spread information… and misinformation… and scaring the shit out of everyone. The silver lining of the time was an awareness, leaving parents aware and empowered to the importance of their decisions they make on behalf of their children.
I read all the books, I researched not only the ingredients but the WHY of the ingredients. I questioned my doctors. I joined the mothering groups. I talked to my friends. Ultimately, for my family, I chose an alternative vaccine schedule that extended the vaccine periods and separated certain vaccinations and I confidently vaccinated my kids. I usually opt out of the flu vaccine. I have a lot of anti-vax friends, and I have always respected their decisions, I personally disagree with forced vaccinations. I am pro-choice in every sense of the word.
When the Covid vaccine became available my first through was something like: fuck that y’all have fun I’ll just stay home. Soon after, covid arrived in the local jail and the calls from the jail starting coming in came in. Men trapped in an outbreak, scared for their lives, begging to be free. And while I’ve never been incarcerated, I could relate to the notion that in this time we all want to be free but are not always willing or able to do the work that that freedom requires. Other than my work, I live a fairly quiet, lonesome life with barely a social bubble to speak of. And it’s for the most part, by choice.
I think of the elderly and immunocompromised, in a prison of their own. Waiting for the gatherings to stop, waiting for the tiers to release. I began to realize the privilege that I was as amongst the first who could partake in this portion of history that begins to change the story. Then, ultimately, it was my last living grandparents who survived the depression era, multiple world wars, a polio pandemic, cancer, and having me as a grandchild. I became sacred to lose them. But they made it through the pandemic. They made it to the vaccine. If it was good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.
I made it this far. And today with the recommendation of my doctor and the blessings of my traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, I got my vaccine. I do this for those who don’t want to or can’t as much as I do it for myself. I love humanity, I love my family, I love my coworkers, I love my kids teachers, I love vacations, I love faces and smiles and hugs. I miss my grandparents. I miss my sister.
I hope that this goes without a hitch. I’m letting my body rest and hydrating aggressively. I’m sure I’ll complains broadly if anything negative happens but otherwise no news is good news.