My friend, Patricia, says it’s been a year of Lent. Patricia’s correct in the fact that there’s been a lot of sacrifices since the beginning of the pandemic. The difference is that during Lent, we choose what we want to give up. Few of the changes and challenges we experienced during this time was the result of a personal choice.
It’s been a very long year. I’ve followed the guidelines in regard to mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand-washing. I forfeited traditional holiday celebrations and gatherings with loved ones in exchange for the avoidance of contracting the COVID-19 virus.
My doctors warned that I was at very high risk of hospitalization and death from COVID. From the beginning, I vowed to do my best to avoid the virus. Most of all, I didn’t want a long-term disability. I was considerably more concerned about lasting side effects from the COVID-19 virus than any risk from the vaccine.
I’m relieved to be fully vaccinated. A weight has lifted, and I can’t help but smile. I now have more freedom to be with loved ones, hug them, and enjoy our special days together.
Scheduling vaccination appointments is finally getting easier as more vaccine becomes available. Mass vaccination sites, as well as local pharmacies and pharmacies within grocery stores, are also expanding appointments.
None of the authorized and recommended vaccines contain live virus. Therefore, these vaccines cannot cause someone to develop COVID. Any symptoms we may develop is the result of our bodies developing immunity.
According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccines do not interact or alter our DNA. There are two types of US vaccines authorized for use.
1. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna RNA (mRNA) vaccines teach our cells how to make a protein that triggers an immune response. The mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell where our DNA is located. It cannot affect or interact with DNA.
2. Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is a viral vector vaccine. This is a modified version of a different, harmless virus (the vector) that instructs our cells to produce antibodies to protect us from future infection. Instructions are delivered in a form of genetic material but do not integrate into a person’s DNA.
It’s believed that these vaccines will prevent serious illness or death from this virus. However, it is uncertain how well these vaccines prevent spreading the virus or how long they are effective. For these reasons, we are encouraged to continue to wear masks and remain 6 feet apart while in public places and wash our hands thoroughly and frequently.
Inspired Caregiving. Weekly Morale Boosters is a helpful and encouraging gift for the caregivers in your life.
Photo: Light house, Fabyan Park, Batavia, IL