Don’t gamble with your life

Friday, December 31, 2021

Editor,

Last night I was looking at the various COVID maps on the mt.gov website. I was stunned as I looked at the map of Montana vaccination rates, which indicates only 53% of Montanans are vaccinated. I thought to myself, How can this be? I have shed too many tears in 2021, mourning for friends and acquaintances who have died from COVID-19 where I live in Miles City. Until this year, I didn’t know it was possible to cry in your sleep, and wake up crying.

Until now I have had a live-and let-live attitude about people not getting vaccinated. I don’t understand their its my body; my choice argument, but I try to practice patience and think, well, its their life they are gambling with; I don’t get it; but I guess it is their life, so don’t stress-out about their choices.

But not last night when I saw Montana’s low-vaccination rate. Last night I got angry. Maybe I’m in the anger stage of grief. I thought, Why would anyone want to play Russian Roulette with their life, and the lives of others?

Listen, I got COVID last March despite taking the precautions masking, social distancing. The vaccines had just come out, and I wasn’t particularly worried that ,I was 69 when the cutoff to get the vaccine was 70. Then I got sick. It came on slowly. I noticed I was short-of-breath walking up the stairs to my apartment.

It got worse, and, sure enough a few days later, after a COVID test, the ER doctor told me I had COVID. And, even though I have never, ever felt so sick, and felt like I was dying I still was not sick enough to be admitted to the hospital. Truly, I cannot imagine how bad COVID must be if it is worse. It got worse before I got better, and I have never prayed so hard that God, please save my life. I also wrote out a will. And, it took one more trip to the ER to get treatment for a COVID complication.

I cried, intermittently, for three days after I got well, just out of sheer gratitude that I had survived. However, it took six months before I really started to feel totally well. And, during that time, a lot of my hair fell out. Sometime Google: COVID and hair loss, and read about that COVID after effect. In the meantime, I got both doses of the Moderna vaccine.

So, what I am saying here, is COVID-19 wants to kill you. There are vaccines that will prevent COVID from killing you. Don’t play Russian Roulette with your life, or the lives of people around you. Get the vaccination both doses, and boosted, when necessary. I can assure you that you don’t want the trauma of a COVID infection that could be worse than the one I had, which was plenty bad.

Finally, after two years of treating extremely sick people with COVID, doctors and nurses are emotionally and physically exhausted. I don't think you want to show up in an ER not vaccinated. Why? Because if those nurses and doctors are like me last

night (after all they are only human) they might not be too sympathetic with your situation that could have been prevented, or alleviated if you had been vaccinated.

Or, there may not be room at the hospital. Today on the news I heard that more unvaccinated Montanans died from COVID yesterday. I wondered if they were thinking at the end, oh, crap I should have got vaccinated.

The vaccines are safe. Biden is vaccinated and boosted. Trump is vaccinated and boosted. Trump and Biden are in agreement about the vaccines. They are safe. The vaccines won’t take away your liberty or freedom but COVID-19 will — and it may kill you.

Please don’t gamble with your life. I may know you. And, I don’t want to cry as much in 2022, as I did in 2021.

Mary Catherine Dunphy

Miles City

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