Well, it has happened! The hesitancy of getting a COVID vaccine has resulted in the death of an elderly loved-one. Unvaccinated individuals caring for a loved-one are a recipe for the outcome I am going to share. But, first, can you imagine the type of guilt and pain one experiences after the death of this nature? A possible preventative death, I might add. I have heard a zillion reasons for not getting vaccinated. However, if you are caring for vulnerable populations, unable to fend for themselves, you do not have the right to inflict this kind of harm on another human being.
The weekend call I received had me in knots and overwhelming sadness. Because of the noise of our current climate, the decision of a son and girlfriend not to get vaccinated, not protecting themselves, developed COVID and transferred the virus to the elderly mother. Three weeks later, the mother died, and the son is still struggling to recover from COVID-19.
What else needs to be said on this topic? How many more empty chairs will we count? By what means do we need to articulate the message? What language do we need to speak? How many more lives must we lose? Why are we putting our loved-ones in harm’s way because of the personal choices of individuals? I’m sorry, you do not get to harm someone else as a caregiver. In any other situation or circumstance, it would be criminal. I will always respect one’s personal choice. What choice did his mother have, dependent upon the son as her primary caregiver?
I recently read an article that stated distrust of the COVID vaccines was the most widespread reason for refusing vaccinations. Distrust should fuel an inquiry. It should not fuel “do nothing.” Maybe this is the message, although this message has been repeated as well. As Your Proactive Caregiver Advocate, may I plea for you to seek resources to help with decision-making. Important research-based informational sources are:
1. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
2. The Johns Hopkins University Research
3. Your Local Health Department
As a final note, vaccines can and do prevent illness. They can also reduce the exacerbation symptoms caused by COVID-19, should you become infected. Nothing and I mean nothing on God’s green earth is full proof. Know that getting vaccinated is an essential step toward curbing this worldwide pandemic. We need all hands on deck! Be safe, be well.