As we are in the year of the vaccines, the country is struggling with the facts of health and safety over personal choice. As the COVID-19 vaccines are slowly becoming approved and the needs for boosters approaches. Also approaching is the time of the year for the influenza vaccine. I was one to avoid vaccines for several years out of fear, but over time that has diminished.
Throughout childhood, I was extremely fearful of receiving any kind of injection. It drew irrational fears and anxiety. Of course you have to get the necessary vaccinations for school and if you receive in-home services, even more like a tuberculosis test and Tdap vaccines. I held this fear most of my childhood. One visit to the pediatrician I eloped from the exam room to the waiting room and the doctor was really good with sneaking it in. For the remainder of my childhood the fear remained, but I never fought it because I realized that it is a necessary thing.
As I became an adult, the fear diminished but I avoided injections until the necessary intervals to do so, One of those injections I wanted to avoid was the flu shot because I didn’t know how I would feel after receiving the injection, because I was often told by my family that you still got the flu even if you would get the injection. So why would one draw the fear and go through the agony to just experience what it was to avoid?
I for the longest time wanted to avoid it, then came the necessity for routine labs because of e issues with my medicine, so I became accustomed to the lab draws and the pain of needles. In recent years, my parents had switched doctors and later I did, This doctor, now my family doctor is very adamant about getting immunized for the flu annually, After seeing my parents go through the process for a few years and not becoming sick, I realized that I just need to relax for a few days after and I would be fine.
When the COVID-19 Vaccine arrived in the US earlier this year, it became a no-brainer that I would be vaccinated. I can’t believe that something as a simple jab has split this nation from the best possible preventative measure at not contracting COVID. Declarations have come from the president last month requiring mid and large size businesses to mandate vaccines or weekly for testing for the unvaccinated, which has cut the already deep divide even more deeper.
When this pandemic began last year it wasn’t politically motivated. It was about sticking together and seeing an end to the pandemic. I, like many autistics, want this pandemic to end just as much as neurotypicals want to. I understand personal choice, but there has to come a point of health and safety for those you work and live with. We cannot be continuing to fall backward when we need to get the world back on track,
Yes, I get the point that some people cannot get the vaccine and I accept that very much. I also respect personal choice as long as you make the effort to protect yourself from being in close contact and avoid contact should you think you have been exposed. Whatever you believe, you must do your part and put it aside and do what is best for your country and world and protect yourself and those around you so we can end this long pandemic, It is having a strain on everyones’ mental health and the autistic community I feel is at their wits end. We must regroup and unite back to where we were in the beginning of this fight and end it for all