Why are you holding off on the COVID vaccine, driver?

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Updated Aug 14, 2021

Have you ever hit one of those stretches when a lot of people you know are sick or dying? I'm kind of there right now.

As I write this, one of my closest friends in trucking, who appeared here in a 2018 article under the name Manny, is on oxygen,  fighting for his life in a Michigan hospital with the Delta COVID variant. As I write this, three members of my own immediate family have also been stricken with the variant though are, thankfully, recovering.

As I write this, a friend from down south and his entire family have come down with it. A music friend, meanwhile, has died in a matter of days after being admitted to the hospital, though his cause of death has not been disclosed.

It's hard not to speculate on what it was.

All these cases have one common denominator – in each instance, the patient had opted not to take one of the COVID vaccines. 

None of these men and women are, or were, what anybody would call stupid people. Stubborn at times, maybe, but not stupid. Some were highly politicized in their decision to forgo the vaccine. Others were not.

Some simply felt more time was needed to truly know whether the vaccine was safe.

All are people I hold in high regard, to say the least. That said, at the recommendation of our own doctor, Denise and I got the vaccine back in March. 

[Related: 'The more essential I'm gettin', the stinkier I get]

Meanwhile, following my own stay in the hospital last month, we both think there's some likelihood we may have contracted the variant ourselves, though symptoms were mild and lasted about three days. It could have been other things, but symptoms included neuropathy in the hands and feet, headache and fatigue. I was on the road when the neuropathy began, but was able to drive just fine.

Still, I thought it best then to start trying to remember to wear a mask again in public, not wishing to be an asymptotic spreader and give it to one of the untold number of unvaccinated people out here most susceptible now to developing serious disease. Funny thing about wearing a mask again after those brief months I put it to the side – for all the ideological exhibitionism you see online from folks who are going scorched earth on this topic, nobody ever seems to say anything to me about it at the Flying J.

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Given how serious this new variant seems to be, I want to know: if you've not taken the vaccine as yet, what's been your reasoning? If one of the options in the poll question below doesn't fit (all things I've heard from folks out there) drop me a comment in the box at bottom or email me directly at this link. My phone is 765-730-7643.

[Related: When a pandemic gets personal, or: 'Why I wear a mask']