ho’oholo pa’akiki

difficult decision (Hawaiian)

It has been an odd two and a half years.

As of October 1, 2022 all federal Covid protocols were lifted. As much as time seemed to stop, it still marched on. Recently, while waiting for our pizza to arrive, a very close friend and I briefly discussed the pandemic. and she asked, “Would you do it again?”
We both have children in the USA and other parts of Canada. I had a very sick father and she had family members receiving cancer treatments. We had to make some very difficult decisions, one of which was to get (or not get) the vaccine.
“Yes.” I replied at first, then I waffled and said, “I don’t know,” then I changed back to “Yes” and then waffled again to “I don’t know”.
This bothered me. A lot.
Not that she asked the question, but that I didn’t know the answer.

I could not make up my mind.
There is a risk when getting any vaccine, but there is a risk to everything. Just to put it out there, I am not against vaccines, but I do not always get the flu shot. I seldom get sick. I remember having the flu twice in my life. Once when I was in high school (I think I missed two days) and again in 2018 (I was sick for a month).

Vaccines have changed the world.
At its peak in the 1940s and 1950s, polio would paralyze or kill over half a million people worldwide every year (this is a wikipedia fact). The 1918 Spanish flu is estimated to be have killed 50 to 100 million worldwide, roughly 5 percent of the global population. Nearly 55,000 Canadians died — almost as many as Canada lost during the First World War. (two more wikipedia facts)
The bubonic plague hit Europe, in the Middle Ages, killing millions. The Black Death, spread by fleas from rodents, is still with us today, and cannot be prevented by any vaccine. (food for thought)
Ebola is a virus without a vaccine. Would I get one, if there was? I think I would, even though the death toll and number of cases is really, really low, SUPER low compared to other diseases.

I have experienced both sides of the vaccine issue.
If the shingles vaccine had been available prior to 2006, perhaps my father-in-law would not have died after a long and painful bout with post-herpes neuralgia, a by-product of the shingles.
Conversely, my oldest daughter was missing a multitude of vaccines so that she could go on a missions trip in Mexico. We blew up her immune system and she ended up with Candid Albicans, that took several years to get under control.

Did the governments of the world do everything right during the past two years.

Probably not. Did they do the best they could while trying to nail down a moving target? I would like to think so. I don’t believe there was a conspiracy by the world governments to entrap everyone in their homes. What would be the end game to that? But more importantly (and this is just my opinion), I don’t think our world leaders get along well enough to be that organized.

I know people that have done all the “right” things and still caught Covid.

I also know people who did everything “wrong” and caught Covid. I have friends and family who caught Covid. My dad tested positive, but was asymptomatic. When my mother-in-law caught it we were told to ‘Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst’. She is going to celebrate her 90th birthday this month. A friend’s heart will probably never completely heal.

Would I do it again?

Are we talking about going back in time? Would my dad still be with us? Would my mother-in-law be in a locked-down nursing home? What would travel be like?
The real question is “When the next pandemic strikes, what will I do?”
If I had chosen not to receive the shot, I would not have been able to visit Dad for the last two years of his life. Travel to to visit my daughters would have been very problematic if not impossible.
So, the answer remains the same.
‘a’ole maopopo ia’u
“I don’t know.
(I did all the translation through Google. I hope I got it right.)

Published by Brenda Rech

Daughter + Sister + Cousin + Wife + Sister-in-law + Mother + Aunt + Great-aunt + Friend = Writer

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