The COVID vaccines that have come out in recent weeks have the promise of eventually bringing life back to how it was before. However, before that can happen, numerous steps need to be taken.
One of the first hurdles to clear is the distribution of the vaccines. As we hear from Thevindu Perera (10), a sophomore at BEHS, between his mother, father, and grandmother that have been vaccinated, “There weren’t any mishaps [in their vaccinations].” Similarly, Iman Hafeez, another sophomore at BEHS, has parents and a sister that have gotten both doses of the vaccine and a brother who has received the first dose.
For the vaccine to be distributed to people, it must first be transported to the places giving the shots. This, Perera says, is going “pretty well right now, but it could be better.” He notes, “It’s such a hard process you can’t hope for much more.” If the distribution as a whole is going as well as expected, then the last place for error is the recipients. This takes the form, most often, of vaccine skepticism. However, this too is a negligible problem. Perera mentions, “There are people of course who are skepticists, but I don’t think it’s that bad.”
To all those who still may be unsure about the vaccine, Perera has this to say: “They test thousands and thousands of people. If you’re scared of the odds of you being the one person being infected out of 20 million people, you might as well just not do anything in life because there’s also one in 20 million chance that you get hit by lightning.” Continuing with the idea of the probability being so low as to not matter, Perera exclaims, “ If [something bad] happens, you could go buy a lottery ticket, and you could win.”
As for himself, Perera remarks, “If I could get a vaccine for my age, I would probably get it.” Iman would also like to get the vaccine and will be receiving her first dose next week, towards the end of March. Iman’s sister shared her firsthand experience with the vaccine, stating that “it was quite painless, just like any other vaccine. The process was smooth, and they offered snacks and entrainment during the observation period, so it went by quickly.”
Although the first dose produced no side effects or other symptoms, she stated that “the 2nd dose produced side effects that I have never experienced before with a vaccine/flu shot. The day after receiving the vaccine, the headache, soreness, and lethargy made it almost impossible to go about my day. The following day, however, I was completely back to normal.” Side effects are expected for any vaccine, and it shouldn’t discourage people from taking the vaccine because, as Iman’s sister stated, the symptoms wore out after a day.
All of this still doesn’t get to the root cause of the issue- will the vaccine bring life back to normal? Perera believes that it won’t, at least not for the near future. “I think we’ll have to give it a few months because the CDC is warning us to not suddenly reopen. Maybe in a while, but right now, I think COVID-19 restrictions will stay.” Similar to Perera’s ideology, Hafeez believes that life will not go back to normal or at least the way we used to live, but it will get better. Following this idea, she states, “I think that things such as masks will still be present and people will still be cautious, but more people will go out, and more places will begin to open up.”
So, while there may be a light at the end of the tunnel, it still appears to be a long way off. On the other hand, vaccines do hold a large amount of promise and could, in a few months, bring us back a sense of normalcy.