Napier Courier - 2021-11-24


Happy to roll sleeves up to fight Covid


Brenda Vowden

The words vaccination, inoculation, immunisation— whatever you want to call it — used to give me the heebies. I guess back in the day when my kids were little, I would have been labelled an ‘anti-vaxxer’. I belonged to a small group of concerned people who met in someone’s lounge, breastfed baby asleep in the backpack, and discussed our latest “findings” about vaccinations. Were ad screeds of printouts of numerous studies and research circulating at the time. We believed what we read, all sorts of confusing scientific and medical terms which were digested with gusto. There was no way on earth we would be subjecting our poor, innocent babies to be pricked with God knows what. So Ido have amodicum of sympathy for the handful of individuals who are “vaccine hesitant”. My philosophy back then, which still stands today, is if you are more afraid of the possible effects of the illness, than the possible side effects of the vaccine, then get the jab. Whenthe Covid vaccine first became available, I probably did an eye-roll, thinking “Oh well, here we go, typical”— something along those lines. But as time has gone on and Ihave amuch better understanding of the world view of this potentially deadly variant of the virus, I nowhave a profound gratitude for the vaccine. Although symptoms of the illness itself can be horrendous, lungs so full there’s no room for air, I’m also concerned about the enormous load this will have on our hospitals, our workforce, families, our children— the list goes on. And not to mention ‘longCovid’— somep eople will suffer for a long time to come. I do not believe there are microchips in the jab, weare rendered infertile or magnetic, it’s an “experimental” vaccine (I guess they all are to a certain extent), or our government is trying to control us. I thinkweare lucky to live in an age when we can potentially wipe out a deadly virus before it wipes us out. Some studies put the survival rate from Covid at around 97 per cent. This is a number spread by antivaxxers as a reason not to take it seriously. If my maths is correct, let loose in New Zealand, that would equate to around 150,000 people potentially dying. So while the survival rate does indeed sound high, 3 per cent can add upto a lot of deaths. Commonsense seems to have gone out with the contaminated wastewater. On one hand protesters are bleating that our government is bankrupting us, while putting their other hand out for a handout. They won’t get vaccinated, but will expect our health system to bend over backwards to give them the best care if the time comes. Andfor thousands upon thousands the world over, their time comes way too soon. In one report at the end of September, just one of the 112 people who had been in hospital in the latest outbreak in Auckland was fully vaccinated, while 90had no vaccination. No-brainer. Which is what it appears some people seem to have. Now I’m reading post after post on that bastion of reliable news, Facebook, “what a sad day this is” for all thosewho have lost their jobs. I’m more thinking, what a sad day this is for all those people who have lost their lives! Andt hey will continue to do so whenever unvaccinated people move about. On a daily basis, weare all victims of our environment— inhaling petrol fumes, spray, swallowing pharmaceuticals— the list goes on. And while many choose to smoke cigarettes, vape, eat processed and non-organic food, mercury and plastic infested fish, wash and dye their hair, use deodorant and apply make up full of chemicals— I don’t. But this is bigger than meand what I want or don’t want to put in my body. I’m not worried about “body sovereignty”. This is aboutmy children, grandchildren, friends, neighbours and community. I chose to rollup my sleeve for my second jab at Te Kupenga Hauora— Ahuriri’s drive-through clinic at Tamatea Pak’n Save a couple of weeks ago, to try to slow this thing down, save lives and get back to our new normal. I’m also not bothered aboutmy ‘freedom’— I have plenty, thank you.


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