Updated: Mar 24
TAKEN FROM PSYCHOLOGY TODAY, AN UPLIFTING, OPTIMISTIC ARTICLE ABOUT THE VACCINE WITH AN ASPIRATIONAL WISH FOR THE FUTURE.
“This is historic,” she added, gently stroking my arm and handing me a box of tissues. Indeed.
When almost half of Europe’s population died of the plague in the 14th century, there were no vaccines to come to the rescue. Nor were there vaccines six centuries later to prevent the spread of the 1918 influenza pandemic, which infected one-third of the global population, killing 1-6% of all people on Earth in two years.
The nurse’s term “historic” was apt. The speed at which several highly effective, nearly side-effect-free vaccines have been developed is unprecedented.
I found myself reflecting upon this historic moment, realizing its potential to transform our thinking and our actions, and, through these, the world. Despite all that is still wrong in terms of injustice, environmental destruction, and persistent cruelty to animals across our everyday systems, there is much that is right. And what is right was on full display as I received the vaccine.
In record time, scientists and lab workers came together and, with the promise of government-funded purchases, produced safe, highly-effective vaccines.
More than 100,000 people volunteered to test these vaccines to ensure their efficacy and safety.
Production was ramped up on all the necessary components of the vaccines as well as the products to administer them, from syringes and needles, to alcohol swabs, to masks, and much more.
Website developers and engineers created interfaces to coordinate a massive vaccination undertaking.
Volunteers came forward to support efficiency and speed while providing checks on human error.
The U.S. committed billions of dollars to help ensure that people in lower-income countries would be vaccinated as well.
...Can we pause to experience gratitude for all these people, all this collaboration, and all this tireless work? Can we mark this historic moment with the appreciation and wonder it deserves? Can we let ourselves be transformed, even just a bit, and deeply embrace what’s possible when compassion and commitment converge?...if the rapid rollout of COVID vaccines teaches us anything, it is that when we come together with a common purpose to achieve a clear and pressing goal, we can and do harness the very best in our humanity and are able to address the challenges we face.
As we begin to exhale in the coming months and look ahead to a post-pandemic world, let’s be inspired by our achievements and ask ourselves how we might be increasingly solutionary in the years ahead.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Zoe Weil, M.A., M.T.S., is the co-founder and president of the Institute for Humane Education, the author of seven books, and a frequent speaker on creating a healthy and just world. Online: www.HumaneEducation.org, Twitter, Facebook