Today, after a year of hiding at home, I went back to the Radio Migrante studio at the GLAHR offices to do a webcast show from there for the first time in a year.
After a year of doing our daily "Todas las Voces" streaming show remotely, it was a liberating experience.
|Radio Migrante 26-III-2021|
I volunteered for the vaccine trials (where half the participants get the real thing and half a placebo) out of cowardice: a 50% chance of protection is way better than 0% ... and trusting the vaccines likely would work.
In December I was was enrolled into the J&J trial, but a 50% chance of contracting a deadly disease ain't so good so I still stayed in my cave despite getting a shot.
Now that the main part of that trial has concluded, and the vaccine has been authorized, participants in the study were "unblinded" and a few days ago I was told that I had in fact received the vaccine last year and have been fully vaccinated for months.
So given that this vaccine --and all the others with detailed published trial results (and, yes, including Russian and Chinese shots)-- are (roughly) totally effective in preventing severe disease leading to hospitalization and possibly death, and after talking to medical folks, I decided that for me, COVID --or at least extreme COVID, hiding in a cave-- is over.
Today I spent more time just informally talking to people in person after the show than I have in a year. And yes, we kept our distance, and had masks much of the time when not eating. Still, it was liberating, exhilarating.
Our society as a whole, and the entire world, also needs to be liberated from this pandemic. That starts with the responsibility of everyone who has the privilege of being able to get vaccinated now to actually do so. And that means us, people in the United States, who have access to the world's biggest stash of shots. All the science suggests that the vaccines greatly reduce or block viral transmission. And that is what so-called "herd" --group-- immunity is about. But it only works if close to everyone is vaccinated.
Within a few weeks, it is likely that the United States is going to be awash in vaccines. In addition to the three already approved, the federal government has already bought enough shots of those three and other vaccines likely to be approved soon to cover the country's entire population two or three times over. Our responsibility is not to agonize over the ethics of being ahead of billions of people in Asia or Africa with access to the vaccines: right now we cannot fix that. Our responsibility is to bare the arm and receive the shots. That will set the stage for the fight to have all those "extra" doses we as a country have already bought to be shared so that the whole world --the entire human race-- can be protected.
And not just our "extra" doses but as many more as can be produced in our country, and as many more as can be produced by sharing the technology and patents involved with everyone. Many other countries can produce vaccines. And all those than can should be doing so. Pharmaceutical profits be damned.
Sí se puede. Yes we can.
But the first step is for you to get vaccinated as soon as you possibly can. It is one more step towards freedom from COVID. And once we learn that together we can free ourselves from COVID, I think it pops the lid from the can on what together we can do..
Today I felt liberated. Let's make it so for our entire race, the human race, because while there is a soul still imprisoned or threatened by COVID, none of us will truly be free.