Aug 02, 2021 Sports
I had written the following letter on Thursday, July 29, 2021. It was delayed because of a misunderstanding. On Friday night, I heard news of changes in Guyana, affecting the citizens’ willingness to be vaccinated. I reconsidered the usefulness of the letter and I have now decided to send it to the press for what it is worth. I must add that there is now a warning from the CDC in the USA that vaccinated persons can catch the Delta variant of the Covid-19 and can spread it, but that the infection of the vaccinated person will be mild:
Ever since March 2020 when the virus, causing what has become Covid-19 hit the world, more and more humans began to think about our immune system. The I-System, present in animals, is said to be a complex thing. It includes many cells, organs, tissues, secretions, and bone marrow. It is our body’s defense against infection. The immune system is on autopilot and, as I understand it, we cannot switch it on or off. We know how efficient our own system is by results. If it is in high gear, it crushes the infection. If we get sick, it is not up to mark. We may be strong and muscular and yet have an immune system that is not in high gear or near to high gear.
Human communities in every part of the world today are divided by behaviour, opinion and the way we respond to challenges. Dr. Lin Yu Tang, a Chinese philosopher popular in the nineteen forties, said humourously, “the world is divided into smokers and non-smokers.” Today, he would find a world divided into supporters and opposers of vaccination. One reason for my writing these comments is to encourage those who see nothing helpful in vaccination in the present pandemic to look at the situation again.
There are individuals and communities of people inspired by science or religion, or both, but are confident of their ability to resist the Covid-19 virus and its mutations without vaccines. There are other individuals and communities of people who see vaccines as an intrusion into nature and as directly harmful. Both of these communities have at heart a deep interest in the welfare of humanity.
The attitudes noted above did not arise out of nothing and are not just postures of people who want to differ from the crowd. Part of the reasons for these attitudes can be found in the publications of movement over many decades at locating a reduction of population in those parts of the world regarded by them as overpopulated. Another feature which has raised the level of disenchantment with vaccines at present may be the way they have become available to the world as commodities produced for profit by major corporations, some of them with a history or reputation of their own. There is also the confusing fact that not all the vaccines being traded and dispensed or administered have been approved by the World Health Organization. At the same time, the reason for absence of the WHO’s approval is not widely known. Of course, it is the duty of all governments to satisfy their citizens’ doubt about any vaccine chosen by the government and about other measures the government has decided to take. In countries like Guyana, political choices and differences are complicated by myths we like to pretend are unimportant. In our country, the 2015 coalition of APNU-AFC was the first to be responsible for managing the country during a pandemic. It set the pattern of treating this important responsibility as a party project. When in 2020 the PPP/C became the Government, it continued to treat the pandemic as a party project, but on a more active scale. In fact, the two paramount parties may have lost all sense of what a national project is. I refuse to explore the possibility that this partisan embrace by two succeeding governments has contributed to the reluctance of wide cross-sections to be vaccinated.
So what? Regardless of discouragements and the bungling of governments, each person has some responsibility for the preservation of this precious life. Vaccines here and there give rise to reactions that may need medical attention. However, vaccines do not cause disease and do not kill. It is the virus that kills. And it is vaccines that most swiftly target and destroy the virus, permitting life to go on. Timely vaccination may help the individual to avoid a course of illness from the virus that often leaves the patient with damaged tissues. A person who takes the vaccine for this current virus can expect to avoid the trauma of a Covid-19 illness. Such a person then has all the time in the world to follow up with a well-considered and well-informed life style that can contribute to a better quality of life.
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