On Sunday evening (July 4) The Social Issues Study Commission of the Jamaica Baptist Union convened a webinar titled ‘Vaccinate or Vacillate’. Owing to a prior commitment re US Independence anniversary I caught only a piece of a most informative presentation by Dr. Melody Ennis. The session topic reminded me of my letter to the editor (Observer, 17th February, 2021). I said then:
“If you are still undecided about taking the vaccine when available that’s a perfectly understandable option given the conflicting presentations on the safety etc. of all the available vaccines.
If however you have definitely decided that you are not taking any of the vaccines you need to probe what this option means.
Bluntly put, you have thereby decided to be at once possibly homicidal/suicidal. Homicidal (killing another or others) should you contract the disease and pass it on. Suicidal because, even if the vaccine has side effects not now known or does not live up to its advertised claims re efficacy, you may be dead before that reality emerges or is refuted over time.
My suggestion to you therefore is, act rationally and responsibly if you love yourself and others, take the vaccine, follow the safety protocols and trust God or the scientists that all will be well.”
It seems to me now that my suggestion needs strengthening especially in light of the delta variant of the virus which has medical specialists globally in something of a quandary because it is more easily transmissible and is more infectious than Covid-19 and its alpha variant. It’s not if but how soon the delta variant will hit Jamaica!
I too have heard the folk who exercise their right to vacillate about taking any of the vaccines and who claim that the virus is no pandemic but a ‘plandemic’. My common sense response is simple.
It is quite possible that you are right but it is beyond refutation that that ‘planned virus’ has killed and is still killing millions worldwide. It is also beyond refutation that the people who have succumbed to the delta variant have largely been those unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated!
Using common sense or thinking critically just a bit, would you rather be vindicated in your right to vacillate and be commended while dead or take a vaccine, protect yourself and others even if you cannot be guaranteed 100% protection from the ‘planned virus’ or its variants?. Isn’t it more sensible to be ill than dead?
It should challenge our thinking very seriously that, in the ‘wealthy’ USA where vaccine availability is no problem, only 48% of the US population (as of July 6) has been fully vaccinated!! The increasing spread of the delta variant in the US is scaring the daylights out of health care personnel.
What percentage of my brethren in my beloved unforgettable homeland Jamaica has been even partially vaccinated? Are we cool with playing Russian roulette with our lives by vacillating? Just asking!
Brethren, Christian vacillators in particular, let us reason together and show that we really love our neighbours as we love ourselves.
I have been chided for saying it in sermons [when appropriate] but I maintain a maxim for my family which I don’t recommend to anyone else. Here it is “I’ll give my life readily to protect my wife, our 2 children (their spouses) and our grandson and I’ll take a life reluctantly to protect them because I love them.” Don’t omit the adverbs if you must quote me. My 5 sisters and a few close friends qualify here as well.
Let my people think critically, says the Lord. Love your God with all your heart, soul, strength and MIND (Mk. 12:30).Take the vaccine as soon as it is available to you, your delay may prove deadly.