My fiance and I plan to get married in the spring. I have a pretty sizable family and I want them all there. No one can tell what will happen in the next few months. With the surge of COVID-19 virus cases, things aren’t looking good. I’m terrified that I will lose more family members before I get to celebrate my marriage with them.

I’ve already lost my maternal grandfather to it. I don’t want to lose anyone else. I want them to live full and healthy lives. Because some who have made it through the virus still suffer effects long after. This virus is taking people of all ages; older, younger, those in their 40s and even children. My heart aches for each and every one of them.

Some say you can still contract the virus even after getting the vaccine, so what’s the point in getting it? The point, as I see it, is that the vaccine minimizes the risk of critical illness. The most recent numbers from King’s Daughters Medical Center show 59 patients hospitalized, 10 of whom were vaccinated. Of the 13 patients in the ICU, all are unvaccinated. Of the six on ventilators, all are unvaccinated. Those are some telling numbers.

I’ve been vaccinated. And if I contract the virus, I will likely feel a little rough for a few days. I’m fortunate in my relatively good health that will work in combination with the vaccine.

I won’t lie to you. I was apprehensive about getting the vaccine. But I’m also a little (a lot) paranoid about getting sick, often times to the point of hypochondria, so when this virus first appeared and proved how dangerous it could be, I was suitably terrified. I felt like I was constantly looking over my shoulder, waiting for it to strike.

About a year into the pandemic, the vaccine was finally developed. And still I was leery about it. I’m one of those people who requires an ample amount of distraction any time I get a flu shot. Needle fear strikes deep.

An impressive amount of funding and volunteers for trials aided in the quick development of the vaccine. There are many more complex workings behind it that I’m not nearly qualified enough to explain, but suffice it to say, it was efficiently done.

In the end, I decided to get vaccinated. In my apprehension, I sought guidance. And that prayer was answered.

As a Christian, I believe we have a far better place to go to when we die. Knowing that, I still do my best to take care of myself while on Earth. This is the life with which God entrusted me. My body is the temple in which his Spirit dwells. It is my duty to take care of it to the best of my ability. Part of that is protecting it from harm, both internal and external. So I wear a seat belt in the car, I get my flu shot every year and I got my COVID shot.

Furthermore, it is also our duty to take care of others as much as we can, even to the point of sacrifice. Right now, that sacrifice includes wearing a mask and getting vaccinated. We are to love our neighbor. Romans 8:9 says, in part, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”

All I can think about is how many people — how many loved ones — will miss out on important life events. Graduations, weddings, births. So many moments that will feel like they’re missing something intrinsic. So I will beg and plead with you. Please do everything in your power to protect yourself and your loved ones. They want you there at every special moment, make sure you allow yourself the opportunity.

Reach KATELYN ADKINS at kadkins@dailyindependent.com.

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