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Vaccination means freedom to see family and world

Mid-February, I remember face-masked tutus, papas and aunties parking their cars in row upon row at University of Hawaii Maui College to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Some had tears in their eyes knowing it was a pivotal moment, an inoculation against COVID’s crapshoot — either no illness, mild illness, severe symptoms, weeks in the hospital, months recovering — if at all — or for some, death.

After a shot in the arm, hundreds drove away in glee, if not utter relief.

Today, now June, society is pressing another 40 percent of our population to get vaccinated with gifts, lotteries and sports tickets. Fear of side effects. The deniers. The distrust of science, perhaps. A twist of tales, an astonishing philosophical dichotomy from February to June.

I am vaccinated. I feel a sense of great freedom after this past year’s mental wear-down. I don’t mind being around the unvaccinated. I am free — free not to spread the virus to them, free not to get sick. The unvaccinated think they are free. But I feel a greater sense of peace and accomplishment to again see my family and the world. You cannot take this from the vaccinated.

Vaccinated individuals have a .01 percent chance of getting the virus and a .01 percent chance of spreading the virus, according to the latest data. I have very little chance of hospitalization from COVID-19, remarkably less than hospitalization from contracting influenza in years past.

Get your vaccination and set yourself free. No sports tickets needed.

Kelli Lundgren

Kaanapali

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