Wednesday, March 31, 2021

A Former Vaccine Skeptic Tells her Friend to Listen to Dr Fauci

Dear One,

Thanks for your thoughtful email about natural medicine and vaccines. I have to be honest and tell you I am not going to click the links, for two reasons. One reason is I am overwhelmed with schoolwork and anti-racism reading, and I just can’t take on any more. But the other reason is that my appreciation (and trust) of vaccines is like a newborn baby who I am protecting at all costs. 

As you know, I was extremely skeptical of vaccines myself, until I changed my mind when my kid was nine years old. I was obsessed with protecting her immune system and viewed vaccines as unnatural, medical interventions that we didn’t need. But after reading extensive writings by parents of immunocompromised kids (kids who couldn’t receive vaccines, so who required the healthy children around them to be vaccinated, if they were to be able to go to school, or take part in any group activities) I realized I had been making choices based only on my child’s health, not on the health of the whole community. I completely changed my mind about immunizations, and scheduled the first ones with the pediatrician that day.

So now, whenever I see articles questioning vaccine safety or herd immunity, I avoid them, because I could imagine myself getting pulled back into that way of thinking, and I am deliberately choosing not to go there.

Like you, I believe that good health starts with healthy soil, non-toxic agriculture, clean air and water, access to real, fresh food, and so many other good things that we enjoy every day and that so many millions of our fellow citizens are deprived of. We can’t have a healthy nation until we get our sh*t together on this basic level.


But vaccines are also important, a hugely important piece of societal health. 

Not only do I not have the time, energy, inclination or education level to read through studies of vaccine efficacy/ safety/ etc, I am delighted to trust the experts who I know are desperate to end this terrible pandemic that has wreaked so much havoc on our world. And I am THRILLED that both sets of my parents have now received their vaccines and soon I can get mine! I can’t wait!

In the same way that you describe an intuitive, gut feeling that warns you away from an RNA vaccine, I have a gut feeling that says Trust Dr. Fauci and all the scientists who have been working feverishly to get us these vaccines so that we can congregate safely once again.

The fact is, the sooner most people get their shots, the sooner we can visit our families. The sooner our nation is immunized, the sooner the 96,000 people who work on Broadway can get back into those theaters and we can go see a show!

This has nothing to do with how I feel about the American Medical Association (boo!) or the influence of predatory capitalism on the American pharmaceutical industry (also boo). I just want to go visit my mom and hug her and to do that I need to get on a plane and that is just not safe until our nation is vaccinated.

I know your beautiful, holistic world view is rooted in love of the earth and the natural systems that give us our lives. I get that and I respect that. But I also think that you and your family, like everyone else in this state, in this country, and on this planet, will benefit tremendously from widespread vaccine use. We’ll be able to hug each other again, eat in a restaurant, and go to concerts! Schools will be safer for kids and teachers, and our hospitals won’t be overwhelmed with Covid cases. Frontline workers, like nurses, teachers, and doctors will be able to begin to heal from this traumatic year.

If everyone was skeptical and rejected Dr. Fauci’s advice to get our shots, none of this would happen. So for me, the choice is clear. I want to be part of this wave of communal love and trust, this ocean of looking out for the collective well being of us all. I am getting my shots not only to keep myself safe, but as an act of care for the entire human family.