Sun | Jul 25, 2021

Letter of the Day | Get vaccinated for the sake of your family and friends

Published:Tuesday | June 15, 2021 | 12:06 AM


I have had my second dose of vaccine, and I feel a glorious sense of freedom. For the first time in 15 months I can move around without fear, be sociable, and see my clients in my office face to face. My doses were given at the National Arena, where the organisation was superb.

So I was surprised to read that only 7.1 per cent of Jamaicans in my age group have been administered the two doses, and 87.4 per cent had not even had one. I have lived and worked in Jamaica for over 30 years and long to see it prosper. So I beg all Jamaicans to take the vaccine when your chance comes, as it soon will.

You will be helping our economy, as if Jamaica becomes known as a safe destination, the thousands of tourists and visitors, who have missed out on travel, music, dance and beauty for so long, will choose Jamaica where they can find all this and more.

You will be saving your family and friends because this virus is not going away, and the best known way to beat it is for us all to be vaccinated. I honour the elders who I know who have got vaccinated. You will be helping yourself. You may have an instinctive repulsion against letting an artificial substance into your body. But the risks that you fear are minuscule.

The risks which you are taking if you remain exposed to COVID-19 are awful. I was about to say ‘indescribably awful’, but the horror of the COVID-19 experience has been described with vivid eloquence by Orville Taylor.

If you or your loved ones are hesitating about getting the vaccine, Dr Taylor wrote on April 9 in The Gleaner: “Deeper breaths hurt like hell, and the middle of my chest sears with pain like torn muscles – it is a butterfly of pain.” He suffered this, and more, for nine nights.

I salute you Dr Taylor, you lived to tell this story. I believe that you have saved others from living that hell and dying alone. Let us not follow those right-wing Americans on the road to ‘freedom’ and death, but set an example as proud Jamaicans. We know how to beat the virus, and then we can organise and go to the parties, which will be an amazing experience – and legal!