By Dr Neals J. Chitan
As founder and frontline community educator of “Project STOP ‘n’ THINK-an international social skill movement which has impacted the lives and decision making of millions across the globe, the time is here to add my voice in helping to encourage people to do their part in stamping out this COVID-19 monster which has ravaged our lives, mental health and very existence.
At “Project STOP ‘n’ THINK,” we do not encourage blind adherence and following when facing issues that can affect your life, but suggest to all under our influence, to intentionally STOP and THINK, look at the evidence and facts and then proceed to make the decision that is right for you. And of such, I am proud to “Walk the Talk” as I too join thousands who roll up their sleeves, not just to take a needle, but in the fight to build the herd immunity needed to kill the monster in our nation, region and world.
When one considers the millions of deaths, the dark tunnel of sorrow and despair, the financial hardship and unemployment rained down on us by this COVID-19 monster, why wouldn’t you want to join me in killing it? However, again, I am not encouraging blind adherence, but I ask you to do your research, for it is only when information becomes knowledge will it create a belief that will change your behaviour, and by the way, I have done my research.
Apart from looking at the history and science of vaccines, I asked myself, “Yes but do they work?” The answer to that question I found when I further asked about six diseases that also rained terror on humanity and are no longer a threat. These diseases we have controlled and almost eliminated as vaccines were introduced to build human immunity against them and stamp them out.
Let us start with smallpox, the worst worldwide viral infection on record which has claimed the lives of over five hundred million worldwide. The smallpox vaccine was first developed by British discoverer Edward Jenner and introduced in the USA. In 1972 less than a decade after, the USA declared smallpox eliminated, making it the first disease to be eradicated worldwide.
Then we have Poliomyelitis (Polio) another viral infection that crippled the world and very frequently left its victims crippled in their extremities. Again, a vaccine was introduced in 1955 and that dreaded disease was declared fully eradicated by 1979.
Diphtheria was another bacterial disease that haunted human existence, creating toxins in the body which caused difficulty breathing, heart failures, paralysis and death. With the 1920 introduction of a disciplined vaccination campaign against diphtheria in infants and children, the Western World has declared it almost non-existent.
Among the diseases almost eradicated by vaccines also are Mumps, Measles and Rubella. Without the science of vaccination, probably half the world’s population may have been already wiped out at the hands of biological monsters like COVID-19, which if left to run its course, is intent on doing so.
The only way to get back to some form of pre-COVID-19 normalcy is through a disciplined vaccination campaign. And by the way, I am not suggesting mandatory vaccination. Humans must not be enforced into compliance if we hope to achieve unity in action and best results. Enforcement can of course bring desired results, but it will be distasteful and breed resistance nationally.
What we need is a mass education campaign meant to create belief in the advantages of the vaccine and how it will help ease the restrictions and bring back the interactions and enjoyment in families, businesses, churches, schools, celebrations, social events, cultural and sporting activities.
Wow. That’s really bringing life back, isn’t it?
- Can you imagine the big ships bracing our port again with thousands of tourists visiting and spending their foreign currency with our tourist vendors and tour sites?
- Can you imagine going to the airport to pick up your visiting family members and taking them straight home without the incarceration of quarantine?
- Can you imagine the exuberance and energy of people praising God on the weekend as churches across the nation belch out praises in their uninhibited numbers?
- Can you imagine the excitement of football games in local parks as the communities come out in their unrestrained numbers to back their favourite teams?
- Can you imagine St George’s University, one of the nation’s biggest employers, back in full operation creating a hub of activities again to local businesses and employment to thousands?
That’s what I am talking about. Encouragement above enforcement. Get people to believe and they will volunteer compliance as they see the advantages of the vaccine.
I am excited to “Walk the Talk” (as you can see in the picture below) and roll up my sleeves and lead by example. I am therefore challenging my friends, colleagues, relatives, readers and all in my influence to join the line as we vaccinate ourselves and together build the herd immunity needed to get our country back to normal while wiping this COVID-19 monster completely off our shore.
Will you go today?