Monday, June 7, 2021

Our Privilege: Getting Vaccinated

It's big happy news for us this week, since
Rhiannon has received her second ever vaccine and had no ill effects! 
We had to stop vaccinating our kids after our son had a life-changing reaction to some of his early vaccines, and suffered many years of health-issues, after that, along with severe reactions to gluten, soy, beans and eggs. We also struggled as a family as over the years, a few doctors refused us service when they discovered our daughter was unvaccinated, some people in our community were afraid of us, and the kids' special diets often caused frustration for family and friends. Later we learned that both Rhiannon and I have myalgic encephalomyelitis and other issues, making both covid-19 AND the vaccine potentially dangerous for us. So the four of us have been isolated throughout the whole pandemic, and have researched long and hard, weighing all our options. 
I'm so proud of my kids. During this time of extremely limited interaction with anybody (a distanced walk or bike-ride here or there; a video-call or text-chat once every few weeks), my kids have watched on social media as the majority of their former peer-groups continued to gather and socialize, building memories and friendships that left them behind. But my kids overcame this struggle with zeal! Rhiannon has developed a new job for herself, leading online book clubs for kids, as well as continuing to review books on her Reading Corner website. Taliesin has committed to building a career in 3D rendering, unschooling his way through to his first accolades. In the absence of the usual commuting stress and onslaught of seasonal flus, both kids have been in excellent health. Tali has managed to reintroduce both eggs and beans to his diet! And both have spent a good deal of time raising chickens and building my dream garden. Could I ask for anything more? 

Well yes, I'm asking for their social lives to return!!! So, obviously, the vaccine option far outweighs the option of staying home in isolation, continuing to fear a virus that could wipe us out. None of us wants that! So, one by one, as our age-groups became eligible for the vaccine, we each went in and got it--Rhiannon last of all. And she's fine! She came home from the clinic, beaming, with her sticker proudly stuck to her vaccine site.

We are one family who, though we encountered some health challenges along the way, and haven't always been served well by the medical community, are extremely grateful for the people who have invented and made these vaccines, as well as our privilege in receiving them. Thank you.

Should I turn this into a call for open-source vaccines? Sure I will! We got this vaccine because we're Canadian, and as the People's Vaccine website states, "rich countries continue to cut bilateral supply deals with pharmaceutical companies which undermine this global effort and limit supply to poorer nations." So while people in India are burning so many bodies that the death-count is no longer trustworthy, billionaires with ties to big pharma are getting richer and richer, and I'm sitting here at home having my tea and typing on my laptop, feeling safe and sound. That's nothing to be proud of. 
The COVAX program (90-something wealthy countries providing financial aid to a similar number of underprivileged countries for the procurement of vaccines) has run into an issue with supply. Why?? Because most of the vaccine produced went to Europe and North America. That's us. Thanks, India! Thanks Brazil! Thanks billions of people all over the world waiting for vaccines that came to us, instead! I'm glad we're vaccinated! 
We can't just depend on charity, because just like with blankets on cold nights, we'll only give the extra blankets to the poor. We rich people will always keep more than enough for ourselves. The only solution is to produce more. To produce enough. Sadly, scarcity makes things more valuable, and those profiting want to keep profiting! Open-sourcing our technology means sharing the wealth, and, well... greed trumps compassion.
Enough. We need a people's vaccine. All technology, all science, and all progress should be open-source. Open-source means fair. The time for capitalism is over.

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