Keep hope!

Yesterday, I told a friend that I got vaccinated. He said he will not be getting vaccinated. I stopped, looked him in the eye and asked why. He said he has been using ivermectin prescribed by his veterinarian and from all he has been reading about it, including what he found on YouTube it protects from the virus. I was shocked. I thought I had heard it all with the pandemic. So I did my own research, found the article below and shared with him. Ivermectin is useless against my Covid19, I said. The vaccine however, can give the hope you need against the virus. Only time will tell if my public health approach worked with him but I can’t help but ponder a bit more on the word Hope and what it means during a pandemic of a lifetime.

Hope is a four letter word, often difficult to imagine. Many evoke it in times of trouble. Some say it helps to maintain a sense of self, a reason for being. Others suggest it pertains to nothing. Still to have hope in times of uncertainties, to grab it by the next and use it to control your circumstances is something many dream of. Yesterday, for the first time in a year since the pandemic started, hope was on full display with President Biden’s speech. In contrast to excessive negation and downplaying of the pandemic, President Biden gave us hope. Echoes of the mindless frenzy of his predecessor’s own reporting of the states of affairs seem to pale in comparison to brutal honesty and genuine care for the unnecessary loss and pain brought on by the pandemic. But to ask for hope, to make us all believe that it is within our reach if only we do our part was startling to me. This need for hope is not new. We have all been here before. Even when the right and wrongs of the pandemic were debated endlessly in the beginning, the World Health Organization Director reminded us all of how ‘vulnerable we are, how connected we are, and how dependent we are to each other.’

Hope isn’t a four letter word reserved for one person, but for all of us. Hope projects an image of optimism that all of us can aspire too. A place where life as we know it, can somehow return to order. The symbol of July 4th gatherings that he referred to towards the end of his speech is one such symbol of hope. The lurking hint of control, of semblance of life as we once knew it, albeit for a gathering over barbecue is something we can all achieve if only we do our part. Something that I pray those inclined to individuality can overcome for the greater good of the collective. But let me zero in to those who still think this virus is a hoax. Your life now is in your hands. That the simple truth of hope even in a vaccine is something you too can aspire towards. Even the one some of you look up saw hope in the vaccine against all odds. Hope belongs to us all, even you if you do your part. Though his heart of darkness may plague you still, all I want to say is give hope a try. It can literally save your life.

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