Here’s my wish for every senior citizen in Chatham County

By Dennis Streets, Columnist
Posted 6/16/21

Should we be satisfied with nearly eight in 10 Chatham County seniors having been vaccinated against the dangers of COVID-19?

I would hope not.

In March, I was excited by the pace with which …

The News + Record is worth reading!

We’re all about Chatham County, and we welcome you to our site. You can view up to 1 stories each month, then registration is required.

Please sign in below if you have an account. If not, please register here to get an account and an additional 3 stories each month. It’s easy and takes just a minute.

Our staff works hard to bring good journalism, writing and story-telling to Chatham County. HELP US! You can get the News + Record mailed to you weekly by subscribing here.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Here’s my wish for every senior citizen in Chatham County

Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access: $3.99/month

Print + Digital: $5.99/month

Posted

Should we be satisfied with nearly eight in 10 Chatham County seniors having been vaccinated against the dangers of COVID-19?

I would hope not.

In March, I was excited by the pace with which seniors in Chatham were receiving their COVID-19 vaccinations, and I personally was exhilarated to reach the point of being “fully vaccinated.” I felt that I not only had acted in my own self-interest, but also had accepted my civic responsibility — had performed a patriotic act.

Over the past few months, the scientific evidence has become even more compelling that the COVID-19 vaccine not only protects a person from the virus’ serious effects but also prevents transmission to others.

On many occasions I have encouraged others to join me in becoming fully vaccinated. I was pleased to learn that most of those who formerly attended our Council on Aging’s two senior centers are now protected as well. This will likely enable us to begin offering a hot lunch and activities inside our Western Center sometime in July to those who are “fully vaccinated.”

Frankly though, I am rather perplexed and discouraged that 21% of Chatham seniors are still not vaccinated, and that an even higher percentage of those younger than age 65 are unvaccinated. The most recent figures show that adults age 65 and older account for about 41% of all Chatham residents who have received at least one dose.

I respect that receiving a vaccination is a matter of personal choice, and people may have varied reasons for their hesitancy or resistance. I realize some may just want to “roll the dice” — taking their chance that they will not get infected or if they do, that they will have few if any symptoms.

Yet, there will be others who get quite sick, face hospitalization, experience long-term consequences — or even die. I also know that those failing to get vaccinated can put others at risk — including those not eligible for the vaccine due to their age or health conditions.

I have grown weary of the conspiracy theories, myths and misleading statements that reinforce people’s anxieties and distrust of this crucial pathway to a healthier future for all of us. I hope by sharing my positive experiences, more people will follow the science and recommendations of health professionals and get their vaccine, too.

All I can say is that I am very happy to be among the living — not just in the obvious sense of the word but in terms of what I feel and what I have been able to do post-vaccine. I recently enjoyed an outdoor concert with friends whom I had not seen since before the pandemic. I now feel comfortable spending time with my extended family and within my favorite local businesses. I am confident I can attend church in person and greet fellow parishioners. I am even planning a trip to visit my sister out of state.

Suffice to say that I am very thankful I was able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and now I enjoy all the benefits that derive from it. I wish the same for everyone else.

When you decide it’s your turn to get the vaccine, visit myspot.nc.gov or call the Chatham County Public Health Department at 919-545-8323.

Dennis Streets is the executive director of Chatham County’s Council on Aging.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment