DO BE DO BE DO
As 2019 took its leave and 2020 made its entry, my family and I greeted it in style looking towards a good future and all things bright. Little did we know what lay in store around the corner. Come March 2020 and hell breaks loose!...COVID-19 breaks cover and the world as we know it huddles in lockdown!
2020 was a blur of lockdowns, an overload of news on social media, hunts for hospital beds, medicines, deaths, lost families, lost businesses, unsolicited news and advice from Whatsapp pundits, and so much more. This period also brought out the worst and best in people… meanwhile in the background governments were in a race to develop a viable vaccine! As the year drew to a close, lockdowns eased, things start inching back to normal albeit with precautions in place. If memory serves me right, Governments around the World were successful in developing and authorizing eight vaccines…two of which originated in India…COVAXIN and COVISHIELD!
2021 arrives, citizens feel that the pandemic is over and humankind has triumphed over this dreadful virus. They step out in force throwing caution to the wind; the virus returns and we face a ferocity unseen by this generation – deaths due to lack of basic amenities, losses due to lack of co-ordination, hoarding and ignorance. Now as the second wave shows signs of ebbing and a third wave definitely around the bend, I come to the topic that brings forth varied responses – VACCINATION! To vaccinate or not to vaccinate…that is the question!
As 2020 and 2021 rolled on India readied two vaccines and rolled them out to the masses in a phased manner. My family and I have been lucky to have our vaccinations completed…the process which included both vaccines, private hospitals and Government hospitals. My take on the situation is that each department is doing a great job in rolling these out in an orderly manner. We have ensured that all in our immediate family, staff and workers eligible for the jab have done so. We have not faced any adverse reactions to these vaccines.
I know that people are hesitating taking a vaccine…due to the absolute flood of unauthenticated information flow on social media . Others have heard the media reports on the very, very few and rare allergic reactions. It’s true that if someone has a history of a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in the vaccine, they should not take it. Some say that one will die immediately if vaccinated… others say double vaccinated will die within 2 years! Please do not take all that is said on social media as the gospel truth… talk to your family doctor, who knows your medical history and on his/her advice go ahead and get vaccinated, keeping in mind all interval parameters.
Eligible adults should roll up their sleeves. After all, a lot of people have died from COVID-19 in this second wave. As of now, this vaccination process does not ensure total immunity from the virus, but is a building block towards absolute immunity and soon we will have conquered this too!
As a Doctor and fellow biker friend of mine said… “ When your house is on fire, you do not stop to think what colour water hose to use!” There are three vaccines available in India today with hopefully more on the way…go out get vaccinated! Educate Others!
Both the data as well as my experience with the vaccination are incredibly positive and reassuring. I am confident that a new normal will be here soon. We may still be wearing masks and social distancing to some extent — remember, vaccinated people can still get infected, it’s just less likely and they don’t get very sick. We don’t yet know if people who have been vaccinated might get an asymptomatic infection that they could spread, or about the role of viral variants.
We may still see cases of COVID-19 among people who haven’t yet received the vaccine and those who decline it. But for the most part, once most people are vaccinated, I predict a restart in restaurants and travel, weddings and family dinners, parties and rides!... And I can’t wait!