If you have received your 2nd vaccination then you will know the feeling that I am writing about. It is a feeling that there is now some light at the end of the long dark tunnel. There is hope that we will be able to get back to some kind of normalcy. We all will work that out as we go along. Masks? Yes, for now we will continue to wear our masks when out in public areas.
The feeling of sheer happiness when this Easter we were able to have our daughter and granddaughters over for an Easter Egg Hunt and a luncheon. And because we had our shots and she had hers we did NOT have to wear our masks when together in our home. Her husband could have come if he had not been working because he has been vaccinated too. Another son could have been with us, however, he was also working.
Other people I know were feeling as if they were on cloud 9 because as some of them shared with me they now feel safer to venture out. Some friends are now resuming their card games with others who have had their two shots. Others are going to public events that still have social distancing and masks but they now feel safer. Everyone has their own guidelines of how they feel safe within themselves. I am not ready to go inside a restaurant to eat. To sit on a patio with tables spaced six feet apart is where I plan on starting. There is something about having to wear a mask while at an outdoor public patio that is just not appetizing in my mind. Taking it off to have a bite of my salad or a sip of my iced tea is just not the way I envisioned going back to normalcy. It is a baby step to getting there.
Where is there? There will be a much safer place when we get to herd immunity. Everyone needs to cooperate with the vaccine so that we can get to a more normal way of life. With the new variant of Covid, it is even more important and is why we still need to wear masks when out in public places. There has been a jump in numbers of hospitalizations of younger people. Now that the age has dropped to 16 to be able to get the vaccine, hopefully we will see less young people hospitalized.
The number of people who are less likely to get the vaccinations are being drawn in to get the shots by offering treats and having celebrities get their shots in public. They either talk or sing while receiving the vaccine. The Rev. Al Green received his shot while singing, I'm So Tired of Being Alone, demonstrating that once you have your shots you don't have to be all alone. Mental health improves once you have a reason to be more hopeful.
The federal government sent in troops to help in the process of drive thru vaccination sites. After a day they had places running so smoothly that as hard as it was to get an appointment for a vaccine a month ago, now they have times that you need no sign up for an appointment. And there is no long wait. It is a no brainer. Go get your shot to remain healthy and get us to herd immunity. Most people do not have side effects from taking the vaccine. The few who do say it is minor. After the vaccine your arm may be a little sore or you may feel a bit tired. Nothing that a Tylenol and maybe a little nap won't cure. I am thinking of the pharmaceutical ads where at the end of the commercial some voice comes in stating all of the terrible possible side effects yet people still take the drug the doctor prescribed because it makes you better. This vaccine does not have all of the possible side effects like the advertised drugs do.
Hold on a minute. Now, companies and cities are offering other incentives to get your vaccine. Individual sport teams are getting in on the action. The Cincinnati Reds offered discounted single game tickets to fans who showed their COVID card. Krispy Kreme is offering a free glazed doughnut to any who flash their vaccine card. MEMpops, a local company is at one center offering free treats when people come to get protection from this deadly virus. Free beer at ball games and in the UK they have opened up a 13th century cathedral for people to walk in and request a song from the organist to play while they get their shot. Creative incentives are all over the place. I surely hope it works.
Companies are making their own pitches to the unvaccinated. The age limit has been lowered to all who are 16 or older. It is so very important for every one of us to encourage others to get vaccinated because this is the only way we can reach herd immunity. Jaren Jackson Jr., a Memphis Grizzlie player was in a photo getting his shot with the caption saying, "Roll up your sleeves everybody. For your friends, family and yourself." The city of New Orleans has a slogan, "Sleeves - up, NOLA!"
Some places are requiring you show your shot record to be admitted. There are people who use the same excuse for not wearing a mask. Telling others it is their right to choose not to wear a mask or get a vaccination. We all believe in freedom and the American way. So if they want to risk the health of everyone else, not to mention themselves by saying that it is their freedom with no proof otherwise is simply ridiculous. (my own opinion)
Now it is coming up for debates on the legality of requiring people to show proof of vaccination in order to participate. There has even been talk of having it as a requirement to attend school. Parents must show their children's vaccination card for other diseases. It should be interesting to see where this is headed.
Back in 1905 the Supreme Court ruled that citizens would be fined if they did not get the smallpox vaccine. Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote, "A community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease." The fact is that in today's times common sense is extremely controversial. There are fights breaking out when it comes to wearing a mask.
It seems that it will be at the will of local businesses to decide whether or not that their employees and customers prove they've gotten one of the vaccines. We do know that 70% of Americans say they are already vaccinated or plan to be as soon as they can. On the other hand I have read that 20% say they would be less likely to get vaccinated if businesses required proof whereas 10% say that it would make them more likely to get vaccinated.
The Biden administration launched a national ad campaign encouraging people to get vaccinated with one of the ads having Willie Nelson singing, I'll Be Seeing You." One way to help persuade more to get their shots so that we all can be out and seeing each other more.
In order to achieve herd immunity, a large portion of the population has to be vaccinated; this according to the Mayo Clinic. Only then will things really start getting back to normal, though what our new normal will truly look like remains to be seen. Let's be grateful for all of the new things that we have learned while being at home and now that we all soon will be able to be with others who are vaccinated. Just knowing that two of our four granddaughters and that two of our children, we can see in our home or theirs is such a happy gratitude. New Orleans children and grandchildren will be soon. Can hardly wait! Meanwhile, please mask up when out and about in public places.