Tuesday, 27 April 2021

The Best Shot Of My Career

I had Bon Jovi's song Livin' On A Prayer playing in my head as I drove home yesterday after getting my first vaccination against COVID-19 as I'm now halfway to being fully vaccinated. I have to say that the process was fairly easy with how it was setup, and the longest part of the experience was the fifteen-minute wait after taking the shot. There was very little pain, the people working at the location I was at were quite pleasant, and the side effects hae been very minimal. If you're eligible, sign up for your vaccination as soon as possible because if we're all vaccinated, things start getting back to normal. Honestly, I think we're due for some normal after the year we've had.

I added a comment on Facebook earlier that reads,
"In order to anger all the conspiracy theorists, I went and got the microchip implanted so the government can track my whereabouts on a daily basis. I'll still wear a mask because I'm not fully down with your psychotic regiment of beliefs, but, to make it easier for you to avoid me, at least you can track me on your GPS with this new microchip. Happy vaccinations!"
As much as I joke about conspiracy theorists, I'm still trying to sort out this vaccines hesitancy we're seeing from people when we know that it makes things safer with regards to COVID-19. Is it a panacea that cures all? No, but nothing ever is and we need to be mindful that there's still a chance one can catch COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.

What the vaccine does, though, is gives you a better chance to not catch COVID-19 than what your natural immune system can offer, and that's the key in fighting a virus for which the immune system in the human body has no natural defence. Vaccinations work, and there's a good example that affected Canadians from the past that we should remember.

If you're reading this, you likely have very little experience with polio which rampaged through North America in the 1950s. According to the Canadian Public Health Association,
"An estimated 11,000 people in Canada were left paralyzed by polio between 1949 and 1954. The disease peaked in 1953 with nearly 9,000 cases and 500 deaths -- the most serious national epidemic since the 1918 influenza pandemic. The last major polio epidemic in Canada occurred in 1959, with nearly 2,000 paralytic cases."
Those are pretty significant numbers for hospitals to handle back in the 1950s, and it took some serious work by Jonas Salk and Albert Bruce Sabin when they introduced vaccines that prevented the poliovirus from infecting people.

Flash-forward some seventy years to today, and polio is officially a "dead virus" with cases being non-existent in Canada with the country being certified "polio free" in 1994. This wouldn't have happened without vaccines and vaccine research, and the overall health of Canadians and people across the world improved with the development of Salk's and Sabin's vaccines.

What I'm illustrating with that example is that vaccines do work in eradicating particularly nasty viruses such as COVID-19. It's already known that NHL players on the US side of the border are being vaccinated as they play through this season, so a large number of your hockey heroes are already doing their parts to aid in the eradication of coronavirus. As the US teams get more and more vaccinated, the number of players appearing on the NHL's COVID-19 list from those teams is being reduced significantly.

And that's where you and I come in as hockey fans because we can do our part as well by getting vaccinated. As more and more fans get vaccinated, areans begin to open up, health restrictions are rolled back, and we can gather with friends to cheer on our teams as they look to capture the Stanley Cup. By refusing to get vaccinated or by being hesitant in the vaccination process, you're slowing that effort for society to return to some sort of normalcy which, as stated above, I believe we all crave after a full year of having to avoid one another and remain distant from one another.

As much as this article is a public service announcement reminding you to get vaccinated and stop being selfish, it's also a plea to help society return to normal as we begin the process of eradicating this coronavirus. Like polio, the eradication of COVID-19 won't happen overnight or within the year, but we can put serious roadblocks in place when it comes to cases of infections by getting vaccinated. As more and more people get vaccinated, the virus has less hosts in which it can incubate and spread, and this is how we kill a highly-transmittable virus using modern medicine.

Get your vaccination if you're eligible. You owe it to yourself, your family, your friends, and society when it comes to doing the right thing here, and I assure you that there are no microchips implanted in me, new growths emerging off me, or any other result based solely in wild fantasy. It's been twelve hours since I was vaccinated, and nothing significantly negative has happened to me yet.

I'm healthier today than I was yesterday because I went and got vaccinated. While we're not out of the woods yet when it comes to this virus, we can certainly make it much harder for it to remain a part of our lives and a daily news story if we all get vaccinated. And we'll be that much closer to normal lives once again.

Until next time, get the shot in your arm!

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