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  • Writer's pictureSelvin Basden

It's a choice, but not in the way you think!

It has been a while since the last time I wrote a blog. The challenge has not been a lack of material or perspective and opinion to share. It has been the lack of energy that seems to be a by-product of COVID’s long-term visit to all parts of the world. Emergency orders, shelter in place restrictions, furloughs, layoffs, terminations. It has been one hell of a wild ride.!Nevertheless, we endure because we must! We have families that are counting on us, parents we need to see again, kids who want to return to some sense of normalcy at school, and friends we just want to reconnect with. This pandemic has changed everything; the way we interact, the way we define productivity, and even here in the Bahamas, the way we offer our tourism product.

This blog isn’t long it is just the right length. On April 16th and June 9th, I received the first and second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. I am telling you this because I feel it is important that those who have been through the experience should share the reality of it for the benefit of others. I know some will demonize me for sharing this, but I feel I have a responsibility to. Anyone reading this should make their own decisions regarding what you want to do, but I just wanted to share a few facts I discovered. Like, any other treatment for illness there is a risk. My kids were vaccinated at very early ages for measles, mumps, and rubella and each time they received their shot they were given weakened versions of the virus to build an immune response. I am saying this because while much has changed the overall concept has not. The COVID vaccines don’t stop you from getting the virus, however, it does help to promote and improve your body’s immune response. I love my family, and nothing frightens me more than the thought of moving around and potentially bringing this horrible illness back home to my loved ones. My parents are in the high-risk group and suffer from some of the things that help to drive the fear of taking the vaccine, but I would rather plead with my parents to take the vaccine than to continue to allow fear and stubbornness to keep us in a holding pattern.

To be clear, there is no silver bullet or magical cure for this virus. The vaccine does not provide impenetrable protection against illness and does not even guarantee that COVID won’t win. However, what it does create is an opportunity to emerge from our caves and re-engage with each other. The vaccine is a way back, a deeply personal one, but a way back, nonetheless. It is so easy for me to argue and fight with people I do not know on Facebook or Instagram or get into constant exchanges with random people forwarding information they picked up anywhere. I did what I always do, I spoke to my doctor, read up on the research, spoke to my family, and made the decision that was best for us. With three daughters in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) programs, it’s impossible not to evaluate the science of it all. For the record, this knowledge coupled with our faith has always served us well. And if after all of this, the vaccine is not for you, at least be responsible and wear a mask!

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