Letter: Want to get back to ‘normal’? Get your shots

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I was a little girl, maybe 6 years old, when I saw a magazine photograph of children in a polio ward, imprisoned in iron lungs. That year, the Salk vaccine spared me that nightmare. I also remember a dot of pink on a tiny sugar cube: the Sabin vaccine. We all lined up in the school cafeteria and got our doses. Our parents were thrilled.

Diphtheria killed my mother’s younger brothers. Measles, mumps, chickenpox and rubella, the so-called “childhood diseases,” swept through my elementary school classrooms. My children were spared. What a difference vaccines have made in our lives. Smallpox and polio are eradicated, and the childhood diseases are almost eliminated in the U.S. because of near-universal immunizations.

After a year of lockdown, overwhelmed hospitals and about 600,000 deaths, I was thrilled to learn a vaccine for COVID-19 had been developed. I signed up as soon as I was eligible. It is a blessing to have it now available free for absolutely all adults and teenagers. But the CDC shows that just over half of adults in North Carolina have had a least one dose. I can’t understand it. True, younger people are less likely to be very sick, but that’s only part of the picture.

We need to stop COVID-19 from circulating and mutating into more virulent strains, strains against which the vaccine does not protect. For this to happen, everyone needs to get their shots. It’s not just for oneself, but for the entire community, that you roll up your sleeve. If you want to protect your parents and grandparents, your friends and neighbors with other health problems, the nurses and doctors in the emergency rooms, and first responders, and get back to “normal,” then get your shots.

— Julia H. Hall
Lake Lure


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

One thought on “Letter: Want to get back to ‘normal’? Get your shots

  1. Lou

    In this backward red state, led half-heartedly by a well meaning blue governor, even healthcare workers are refusing it. That’s right, when I go to my doctor’s office, double-masked to protest OTHERS, I have to sit inches away from a staff member whose mask gaps open widely at each side who, when I say, “but you’re vaxed though, right?”, her response is “I prefer not to say”.
    Wow. Just wow.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.