Burnaby resident Peter Morran’s outlook on the COVID vaccines was a negative one for a long time. You see, Morran, along with nearly one quarter of all Canadians between the ages of 20 and 75, suffers from hypertension.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is when the force of the blood being pushed against the inside of your arteries is high enough to cause long term health problems.
When the announcement that some people were experiencing blood clots as a side effect of the vaccine, this worried Morran greatly since his high blood pressure increased his chances of developing these dangerous, and in some cases, deadly blood clots.
“It just felt like the information that I heard about the vaccine went from it being just a possibility to people dying to these dangerous blood clots in a matter of days! And that’s what terrified me. I felt like I just couldn’t keep up with the news.”
But after talking about it with his parents and his older brother who had all gotten it, considering all that is good that could come from getting the vaccine which included being able to see his family once again, and putting faith into BC health for having been able to get us this close to the end of a pandemic, he decided that it was time to say goodbye to wearing masks all the time and went through with getting the covid-19 vaccine, his mind at ease.
“I think that I made it out to be much bigger in my head than it actually was. Getting it was a piece of cake!”
With vaccination rates accelerating at a high-speed pace, and people aged 12 and up now eligible to register for and book their vaccine, there might just be an end in sight for this pandemic. While there are always sceptics who are afraid or hesitant to get the vaccine, most people who spoke to 8forty for this article had stories of hope and optimism.
Everybody’s got a mouthful to say on the subject, even the youngest generation.
“I think that getting the vaccine is important because it could allow us to loosen the restrictions,” says 12-year-old Eric Padden. Padden has been trying to stay realistically optimistic, not wanting to imagine more than what could possibly happen. “Maybe I could go to school and not need to wear my mask over my nose or something like that,” he said.
That optimism is shared by others such as 16-year-old Andrew Tahan, who says that he is “looking forward for the pandemic being over so that I can finally see the friends I haven’t seen in over half a year.”
Many dreamers, big and small, have positive outlooks about the vaccine if it means things going back to normal, and it’s not all young people either.
48-year-old Elliot Pier who was always a rather introverted person before the pandemic began says that even he can’t wait until restrictions are lifted. “I’m looking forward to once again having barbecues with my family and friends,” he said.
While many are optimistic about the rapid vaccine rollout, some remain uneasy. “I just can’t make up my mind,” says 35-year-old Anthony Obrecht. He is trying to decide between helping the community along with his friends and family by leaving his comfort zone and confronting his paralyzing fear of needles, and the alternative: just staying inside, scared of what will happen to him if he leaves. “I’m torn,” he says. “I just can’t make up my mind. I want to help my parents who live just past the border of the States, but to do that I need to get my vaccine first. My younger sister got it just last week but I’m still sceptical.”
Eventually, Anthony conquered his fears with the help of quite a bit of encouragement. “I realized that it was something I had to do,” Anthony says. He heard the stories of others in his community about the vaccination experience, and that helped him gain the courage to take the immense leap and get vaccinated.
He will be visiting his parents before the end of June.
15-year-old Eren Sabir’s mind is elsewhere. He is not concerned in the least by what is in the vaccine, in fact, deciding to get it was an easy decision for him, all because he is very fixated and curious on what the future holds for his business plans. “Back then, everyone thought to have a business, you need to rent a small building and do everything physically, but this pandemic has forced us to realize and switch to online businesses,” he shared.
It is people like these that are helping others to take the leap of faith and get the vaccine, more so than the optimists. Not an ounce of fear or reluctance. These are the people who treat the vaccine as a secondary thought, and that shows others that it’s okay to do so. That it’s not as big of a deal as it is made out to be.
A world without restrictions where people can live their own lives just like they used to have been out of our grasp for a long time, but now it seems as if it came just a little bit closer.
Image credit: Pexels, Polina Tankilevitch
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