One of the things that I have realized in my life is that the choices I made yesterday defined who I am today. I will be the first to admit that some of the choices I have made were not always best for me. However, many of the choices I made impacted my life positively. One of those choices was accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior at a young age. I believe it was the best choice I ever made. It has blessed me in numerous ways as well as allowed me to be a blessing to others. As a single mother of two, I chose to focus my time, effort, and energy on making sure my children would learn Christian values, understand what being loved felt like, and know that they would be held accountable for their actions. I also made a choice to forgive those who had abandoned me, abused me, and put me in emotional harm's way. Our choices can make us or break us. I believe my choices have made me strong and resilient.
There is something going on currently that is adversely and disproportionally affecting the African American community and that is the Delta variant of COVID-19, which is believed to have become the second most prevalent coronavirus variant in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Delta variants are now responsible for about one in every five new infections across the country, up from approximately one in every 10 the week before. The numbers for new cases of COVID-19 among Blacks are rising weekly. The reason this is happening is that too many African Americans have made a choice to not get vaccinated. As of July 4, 2021, the CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 58% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, nearly two-thirds were white 59%, 16% were Hispanic, 9% were Black, and 6% were Asian.
I have asked myself with African Americans being four times more likely to be hospitalized and nearly three times more likely to die of COVID-19 than white people, why do African Americans have nearly the lowest rates of vaccination among all ethnic groups? Many of us are not getting vaccinated because we distrust the medical community which might stem from the infamous 40-year-long Tuskegee study, which denied Black men treatment for syphilis so researchers could track the natural progression of the disease and many Black men contracted syphilis, were left blind and some even died. Some of us are choosing not to get vaccinated because we feel there will be some long-term negative effects caused by the vaccine that we cannot know now because the vaccine is so new. Some of us are being negatively influenced by wild widespread misinformation on the internet claiming the vaccines contain microchips or can cause autism. There may also be a small group of us who have not been able to get to a facility to get vaccinated.
I believe we can all be part of the solution if we encourage everyone in our lives to get vaccinated. If not for themselves, at least for their loved ones. This pandemic is not going away. If we want to help bring down the numbers, the choice is up to us, but we must act. I understand some of the concerns and I am sensitive to them, but we must deal with the facts and the facts state that getting vaccinated is crucial. Are you willing to do your part and spread the word? Oh yes, you can also continue to wear a mask to protect yourself from those who refuse to get vaccinated. Stay safe.
Making the right choice to get vaccinated can save your life and protect the lives of others.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on!