Chris Rogers, editor, Winona Post
This Sunday marked two weeks since I received my second dose of COVID vaccine, which means I am now fully vaccinated and public restrooms are once again just gross and not harrowing.
Trying not to get or spread COVID took over our lives this past year. Even people who were unconcerned about the virus were, at the least, inconvenienced by all the rules and the closures aimed at stopping it. Some of these efforts were tedious, and some involved serious sacrifice. Today, Americans are lucky to have ample supplies of a thing that is both highly effective at stopping the virus and requires virtually no sacrifice.
I drove all the way to Rochester to get my shots, since a clinic there was the first opportunity I got. Now, Winonans can have their choice of vaccination sites right here in town, including ones that offer walk-ins. The entire process takes a half hour or less. I did feel slightly achy and tired the next day, and some of my friends were really out of it the day after theirs.
In clinical trials with nearly 30,000 volunteers, the Moderna vaccine I received was 94-percent effective at preventing COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Even if I had been down for the count the day after my shot, that’s a small price to pay if I can avoid having to quarantine for two weeks again. I already watched every episode of “Jeopardy!” on Netflix. Don’t make me move on to “Supermarket Sweep.”
Simply put, I got vaccinated because I don’t want to worry anymore about COVID. I got it to protect the people around me and the entire community.
In 2019, a potentially deadly disease that had been entirely eliminated from the U.S. — measles — made a major comeback because large pockets of people had refused vaccinations due to misinformation. As a young athlete, my coaches taught me that when your opponent is losing, you don’t ease up. You don’t give them a chance to come back. In the COVID vaccine, we have a tool that can finish the job while we get back to normal. Things are looking up, but let’s not give the virus a second chance.