A Safe Way Back to Normal

First published in June 2021 at CovidClass2021.com


On June 11th, Pace High School became a pop-up vaccination site. Above, Principal Glatz and Assistant Principals ​Chong and Sowiski pose in front the vaccination sign during the morning in-person student check-in.

After months of staying at home and the new normal being remote learning, it feels like time has been repeating itself to the point people are becoming sick of it. A rise in depression, anxiety, and difficulties with concentration and attention has had a higher effect on teenagers during the pandemic.

In the beginning, no one knew when it was going to end and how bad it would become. People were forcing the government to figure out a new vaccine as quickly as possible and they couldn’t wait any longer. On December 11th, 2020 a Covid vaccine was first authorized. A chance at a “normal” life was given to us again, however many people raised concerns and hesitation at the idea of a vaccine for a new virus. This raised concerns within my family too. When my father first got vaccinated, my family members would call every day to make sure he was okay. They believed that the vaccine would be the most harmful thing a person could ever put in their body since it was a brand new vaccine that came out. Very few of them knew the results or the effects of it so how could anyone be sure how effective it would be? They believed it was suspicious of the pharmaceutical companies that developed the vaccines to have found a vaccine so quickly and then make  it widely available for everyone at no cost.

I was unbelievably fortunate and thankful that I didn’t lose anyone during this pandemic. Over 33 million Covid cases have been reported and more than half a million deaths occurred in the United States as of early June 2021. When I had the chance to receive a vaccine to become immune to Covid I didn’t hesitate to inform my family about it. Before they went on social media and retained information from conspiracy theorists and other misinformed people, my family was on board with the idea and for a moment it looked like the world was going back to the way it once was. However, as soon as they checked their social media accounts, their concerns about chips being inserted into the vaccine made them terrified. Basically, the government tracking us or other misleading claims were mentioned; it didn’t seem like a good idea to them anymore. This caused my family and about 1 in 4 Americans to go completely against any vaccine.

They’re not realizing that humans have been battling viruses forever, so when it comes to developing a vaccination that will help protect us from the coronavirus we already have the resources to do so. Other viruses like measles, HPV, Chickenpox are all viruses our parents or grandparents lived through. They have seen the development of vaccines for these viruses, therefore this is just history repeating itself.

This pandemic caught everyone by surprise and it had both positive and negative outcomes, primarily negative. Everyone learned that society can overcome a pandemic if they follow through with rules in order to be safe. As of early June 15, 2021, 44% of Americans are already fully vaccinated. Once we learn the benefits of gathering indoors without a mask with other fully vaccinated people, we could start doing even more. I want to be able to sit in a room with my grandparents or my baby brother without worrying that I might give them a virus that I’ve contracted from other unvaccinated people either at work or anytime I go out in public. Slowly through a lot of persuasions, I’ve convinced my family that getting the vaccine is not as bad as social media portrays it to be.

Works Cited
Bond, Shannon. “Just 12 People Are Behind Most Vaccine Hoaxes on Social Media, Research Shows.” National Public Radio. 14 May. 2021.
“Covid Data Tracker.” CDC. Accessed 8 June 2021.
“Key Things to Know about Covid-19 Vaccines.” CDC. 23 May 2021.
“Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 26 May 2021.
Ritchie, Hannah, et. al. “Coronavirus (Covid-19) Vaccinations.” Our World in Data, 20 May 2021.
Soucheray, Stephanie. “Poll: 1 of 4 Americans Will Refuse Covid-19 Vaccine.” Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, 9 Mar. 2021.
US Department of Health and Human Services “Benefits of Getting Vaccinated” CDC, 12 Apr. 2021.