Food for thought | Columns

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I have heard several people say that they don’t trust getting vaccinated because of unknown side effects, or that they still want to wait longer so that they can gauge what side effects the vaccinated portions of the public might encounter.

Here are some side effects of not getting the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the CDC:

♦ You are more likely to contract Covid-19 and spread it to others.

♦ You are more likely to contract the Delta strain (which causes more infections and spreads faster than COVID-19).

♦ With the Delta strain, you are more likely to experience longer lasting and intensified symptoms, hospitalization, or even death.

The CDC also states “COVID-19 vaccines are not experimental. They went through all the required stages of clinical trials. Extensive testing and monitoring have shown that these vaccines are safe and effective.”

But that only speaks to us if we place any stock in the ones who are spending their nights and days in labs, conducting extensive research.

If fear of the unknown is preventing us from getting vaccinated, think about the unknown substances we consume every day. We are quick to go through drive-thrus and order food and drinks that doctors and scientists HAVE proven do our bodies harm in the long run. But it’s convenient, and it tastes good. And more often than not, we don’t want to know what’s in it that makes it taste so good.

When overworked medical professionals plead with us to get vaccinated, it doesn’t faze those of us who think these professionals don’t know what they are talking about — these public servants who are working with the sick and dying every day. Nevermind that they are face-to-face with the virus more often than they are with their own families. We have read somewhere that someone said the vaccine is not really effective, that it’s all hype, that it’s nonsense. And we sit above the fray while ingesting two-for-one double cheeseburgers, extra-large high fructose corn syrup coffee slushies, nacho fries, and whatever-the-hell parts of the “chicken” are on those wooden sticks.

But a vaccine is offered to slow a killer virus, and suddenly everyone knows better than the experts. Oh, they’re out to get us with their “agendas.” Not our favorite fast food chains though — they are our friends. Meanwhile, heart disease and diabetes continue to be two of the top three leading causes of death for Americans.

Oh wait, pardon me, not anymore — Covid-19 beat out diabetes as the No. 3 cause of death in 2020.

Why, then, are so many up in arms when it comes to taking a vaccine that the medical community, scientific community, and global leaders have agreed is the best preventative measure we have at our disposal when it comes to decreasing the risk of transmission of a virus that is causing so much illness and death?

Hospitals have passed capacity, beds are in hallways now, even here in our hometown. But safety measures are still silly and untrustworthy notions to so many.

Numbers and death counts, shots, masks, and safe distances.

People laughed at Noah for building the ark. They drowned.

And the sign said, “The words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls

And whispered in the sounds of silence” — Paul Simon

Born in Rome, Olivia Gunn returned to her roots after a brief time of study at a university in Scotland. She is currently working on a book of essays and poetry as well as a memoir.

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