Risk

 


Everything you do in life involves risk.  You take a shower, you could fall (21.8 people above the age of 15 did in 2008).  You cook a meal, there's a possibility of burning yourself  (approximately 500,000 burn injuries receive treatment across the USA every year). You get in the car, you risk getting in an accident  6,452,000 car accidents took place on American roads in 2017).  Living is risky.

But we can't let our lives be ruled by risk.   We couldn't live!  We are rational (for the most part) human beings and we live our lives making sensible decisions.  We do things to lower our risk.  We are aware when we shower that the tub might be slippery.  (Maybe we even put those little plastic like daisy things in the tub to grip onto.)  We are cautious when we cook, using a pot holder to touch hot items.  And while we can't always prevent a car accident, we are required to wear a seat belt so that if we do get into one our chance of injury or death is lessened.

Most of us live our lives sensibly and hopefully relatively happily.

Covid-19 changed our daily risks.   As I write this (over 13 months after the "start" of this pandemic) over 148 million people have contracted it and over 3 million have died.  (This is worldwide.)  Consider the fact that approximately 19,000 people die each year from a fall in the shower, an average of 550 people in the US die each year from fires as a result of cooking, and in 2019 36,096 deaths occurred in the US as the result of car accidents.  Covid-19 is a pretty risky thing.

I think it's safe to say that no one wants to fall in the shower, burn themselves, get in a car accident OR get Covid-19.  (And if you do...well you can't stop reading right now.) We do things to protect ourselves, things that I mentioned in the second paragraph of this post.  We started to do new/different things to protect ourselves from Covid-19.  Medical experts told us to wash our hands, stay socially distant and to wear face masks.  Most of us listened.  We changed our way of life, not because we wanted to, but because we needed to in order to lower the risk.  Not just the risk for ourselves, but the risk for family, friends and even total strangers.  It made a difference.

We can continue to lower the risk and get ourselves out of this pandemic by getting vaccinated.  

I'm not going to say there is NO risk in getting a vaccine.  Just like everything else in the world, there is a risk.  In the news, we've learned that (as of now) 15 women have developed blood clots (one died) after receiving the J & J vaccine.  (Which is the vaccine I received as well.)  That is out of over 8 million vaccinations.  It's a relatively low (but scary) risk.  Actually having Covid-19 puts you at risk of getting a blood clot and the risk there is actually greater (39 in a million).   The Moderna and Pfizer vaccine also carry risks of side effects but at this time blood clots are not one of them.

Life carries risks.  We need to make informed decisions when it comes to risk taking.  All of the data that I provided in this post comes from reputable sources.  But you that doesn't mean you shouldn't do your own homework.  Check out what I wrote; fact check me.  If I wrote something misleading or was incorrect, I WILL correct it.  I believe in being informed; of making decisions based on facts and assessing the risks.

As someone with severe allergies, I was nervous when it came to getting a vaccine for Covid-19.  I had no ill effects.  I will also say that I am over 50 and those who developed blood clots were women between the ages of 18-48; so my risk was low to begin with.  My husband has received one dose of the Moderna vaccine.  He will have his second shot next week. (We all need to be FULLY vaccinated; half vax does NOT cut it.) Will there be side effects?  We will find out next week.  We are prepared for them and hope they don't come.  The benefits outweigh the risks.

When my son is sixteen or when Pfizer gets approval for vaccinating 12-15 year olds (which they are currently working on; Moderna is ONLY approved for 18+), I will have him get vaccinated.  I had him immunized as  baby (and I'll admit that as a new parent that was a little scary too) because the risks were low and the benefits were high.  The same logic follows here.

There are risks to everything in life.  Every day we take risks.   The risks we take need to be calculated.  We need to be logical and think about what we are doing and why; balancing out the pros with the cons.  I am not saying get the vaccine (although I truly want to); I am saying THINK.    Look at the statistics; look at the facts.  Look at history!  Make informed decisions; your life is worth it.


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