Recently, I went to a coffee shop I normally go to at least once a week and decided to change things up by trying a new type of latte and a different topping for my croissant. What harm could that cause, I thought? Within minutes of beginning to consume both, I was breaking out in hives and feeling itchy, especially on my face. As soon as I discarded both and switched to my normal order there, the problem went away.
The fact is my body is extremely sensitive to everything I put into it these days it seems. Food, drinks, medicine, etc., I have had a number of reactions to plenty of things I’ve ingested or even put on my body topically over the years, things that probably aren’t ever a problem for the rest of the mass populace. Why I tell you this is that it’s the very same reason why I’ve had to make the difficult decision not to do any of the COVID vaccines at the present time, because I don’t want to risk having any more serious reactions with my health. And if you’re wondering what I reacted to in that coffee shop order, it was either the oat milk or almond butter, two things I’ve ingested before, that suddenly created a problem for me!
Nevertheless, while I fully support all COVID vaccinations in the hopes they will help remove this pandemic, I’m frustrated because companies are now moving in the direction of requiring vaccination cards if you want to do business with them. I’m having to face this very thing now with the cruise line my partner and I plan on sailing for our 10-year anniversary in 2022 that we already have a down payment towards. Cruise lines are just the beginning of a growing number of businesses that are talking about requiring vaccinations cards when doing business with them. While I don’t have a problem getting a COVID test, or taking all the necessary precautions of mask-wearing, remaining socially distant, and using hand sanitizers, requiring a person to have to carry a vaccination card feels as if rights are being taken away. Because I really don’t have the luxury of taking a COVID vaccination shot and assuming I won’t react to it.
For most people though, getting the COVID vaccine isn’t going to affect them whatsoever. Some, like my partner, might get localized pain at the injection point or minor body aches, but the vast majority will probably have little to no reaction at all. I wish I could safely say the same would be true for me. But when something as simple as drinking Chamomile tea causes me to break out in painful hemorrhoids (yes that’s true!), or taking Gabapentin a number of years back when prescribed caused me to hallucinate, or taking Ciprofloxacin a number of years ago as well for a prostate condition caused me to have red welts all over my body and extended damage to my skin, or consuming many other things I’ve tried where each has caused me serious side effects, some taking months or longer to resolve, I’ve had to accept there’s a significant chance I’d react quite negatively to any COVID vaccine.
So, yes, I’m frustrated, because it really does feel like my rights are being taken away when vaccination cards start becoming a requirement to do things like take a cruise. I mean, what if restaurants, movie theaters, airlines, etc., start following suit? Could this become a world where you’re only “good to go” if you have a vaccination card? While I know vaccinations for this virus are important, especially in light of me having had the dam thing for the entire month of January, and still having residual smell and taste issues since, it should still be a choice with no positive or negative ramifications stemming from that choice.
Regardless, I want to make one thing very clear. I’m not an anti-vaxxer, as I fully support whomever chooses to do a vaccination, especially a COVID-one. My stance on not doing a COVID vaccination presently is more about my health and the very difficult life I’ve been living long before this pandemic ever hit our world. I’ve had so many health issues that adding one more to my plate could very well break me for good. So, when there’s potential for me having yet another crazy reaction to something I don’t ultimately need right now for survival, I’m choosing to not take it for now. So yes, I may have to accept the fact that if the new norm of our world is the requirement of vaccination cards to do things, I may actually become a leper of sorts in society. But, if there’s one comforting thought in me saying that, at least I know Jesus will unconditionally love even lepers like me too…
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson