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By Karla Pomeroy

Karla's Kolumn: Vaccine or not, respect one another


April 22, 2021

Shot number two of the Moderna vaccine came and went with barely a whisper.

What I mean by that is that the three of us at the Northern Wyoming News who received our first shot on March 17, received our booster on April 14 and none of us had any more symptoms than we did with the first shot – sore arm where the shot was injected, maybe a little fatigue (when you are like me and average five hours of sleep it’s hard to differentiate between regular tired and possibly vaccine-related tired). One of the employees also reported a few other body aches the day after.

Since obtaining my first dose I’ve been more keenly aware of comments, memes, misunderstandings and misinformation regarding the vaccine.

One meme shared on social media by a friend of mine said “Stop saying you did your research before you got the injection, you are the research.” (On a side note, just wanted to point out that it is possible to be friends with people that you don’t agree with.)

First, the companies did their research and they went through different phases. And, guess what, people were involved in those phases. Yes, the vaccines were fast tracked. Yes, there were emergency declarations to get them approved. Yes, we do not know the long-term affects of the vaccine. So yes, in essence, those of us who are willing and not afraid to get the vaccine are part of the overall research for the COVID-19 vaccines.

And, guess what. I’m OK with that. If it saves lives down the road I’m OK being involved in the research, the research regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and research regarding vaccinations through messenger RNA.

I would rather have to deal with the long-term effects of the vaccine than the long-term effects of COVID-19. I have seen the short-term effects of COVID-19 and for some it has not been kind (and for some it has even been dying from COVID-19), I cannot even begin to fathom what the long-term effects might be for this unprecedent virus.

But, I’m also not afraid of COVID-19 either.

I refuse to live in fear whether from a disease or a vaccine.

We have had letters from a reader about the dangers of the vaccine. Again, I refuse to live in fear. I could walk out the door and get hit by a bus, I could go out and get COVID. I could be diagnosed with cancer or heart disease or one of the many other leading causes of death in Wyoming.

To address another issue. Yes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have provided guidelines about wearing masks if you cannot social distance even if you have been vaccinated. They have provided a lot of guidelines that many communities and states have not followed, including Wyoming.

Think about it, some people have been locked down for over a year, some schools have been closed this whole year, while we just were able to cover Worland High School’s prom and plan to be covering Ten Sleep Prom next weekend.

Regular graduation ceremonies are planned here in Washakie County with both schools scheduled to have mask mandates lifted for graduation (Worland’s variance regarding masks goes into effect May 14, right before graduation and Ten Sleep’s variance is already in place).

We have been lucky in Wyoming.

As for businesses requiring proof of vaccination, another reason some people refuse to get the vaccine, private businesses have that right. They have a right to refuse business to anyone, no shirt, no shoes, no service, no one yells about that being an infringement on rights. When a Colorado bakery refused to bake a cake for a homosexual couple, people screamed it was their right.

Rather than dwell on all of the negative memes about those of us getting a vaccine I choose to think about the inspirational quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present.”

While some adamantly oppose the vaccine for a variety of reasons, others view the vaccine as a true gift as it means they no longer worry about COVID-19. They have freedom to go out in public again, to eat with friends, gather with family and visit loved ones.

Embrace the fact that in the United States of America we have a freedom, a choice of whether to take the vaccine or not.

Whether you get the vaccine or not, that is your choice, just as it was my choice to get the vaccine.

I only ask that you respect people for their decision. Do not make fun of their decisions, criticize their decisions, get mad about their decisions.


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