Save Lives: Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccine Today


Office of the Secretary of Defen

Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)

Karli Applestein, Opinion Editor

COVID-19. The thing that has turned all of our lives upside down more than a roller coaster ride would. So many of us and our loved ones have been impacted by the virus, and it has altered almost everything in our daily routines. You’d think it would end after a few months, but sadly, it’s been over a year and nothing has changed. So, what’s the answer? What is the key to unlocking our lives back?

I have one: the vaccine. 

Now sure, no one likes to get a needle in their arm and have it sore for days, or in this specific case, cause them to get sick for about 48 hours. But I know something I like even less than popping pain killers and refilling my tissues a couple of times a day, and it’s the idea of dying. While Covid has opened some doors for me; like helping me reflect on my mental health and giving me more time to practice writing, I know that I’d much rather give up those things to have my aunt and uncle back.

They both died of Covid before they could receive the vaccine. They both did everything they were supposed to do to stay safe.  They both looked forward to this shot to make it better. They were both on the vaccine list. And they both died.

My personal experiences aside, the vaccine is so important in order to put the world back together. Wearing masks as a teen is excruciating even though I am willing to do it, I feel limited in conveying my feelings to peers. Masks are 100% mandatory. But in all honesty, they should not have to be because we should have more people vaccinated.

If more people got the vaccine, the mask mandate might not need to be as strict as it is. I hear people complaining all the time about wearing masks, but honestly, we’re only doing it because people refuse to get vaccinated. Especially as we near a vaccine for children ages 5 -11, greater vaccination numbers could move us away from needing masks to stay safe.

This whole pandemic reminds me of those situations at school where that one kid won’t stop talking and ruins it for everyone else who did nothing wrong. Except, in this case, it isn’t school, but life outside of it, too, and it doesn’t involve one kid, or one school, but also adults who refuse to be vaccinated.

We get shots all the time. Flu shots, Hepatitis shots, Tetanus shots, Chicken Pox shots, and the list goes on.

Many people resent vaccine mandates passionately. While this is incredibly selfish, it’s also dangerous. According to the Anne Arundel County Department of Health only 51.9% of the county is fully vaccinated. And according to the Maryland Department of Health, 10,476 people in Maryland have died so far from the coronavirus, five in the past 24 hours at the time of the publication of this article. That is the equivalent of about eight times the population of Crofton High School dying total in the state, and the equivalent of a basketball team’s starting lineup in the past 24 hours.

This is not just a virus, it’s a pandemic. A worldwide problem that is only getting worse by the minute because of stubbornness to the extreme. It’s really that hard to get a needle in your arm, apparently. 

We have the power to help change the way things are. It would not be immediate, having everybody fully vaccinated is the first step.

While I have my strong opinion in support of the vaccine, I can (somewhat) understand why some people are hesitant to get the vaccine. They are set back by the Delta variant, the fact that some types of shots are not FDA approved, and some even will say that the shot “doesn’t work.”

I’ve heard people claim that they have tried to get the vaccine, but could not find any places offering the shot anywhere. I’ve seen Wegmans, CVS, Walgreens, High Schools, Naval Academy with vaccine appointments open. But, needless to say, I never want to hold a grudge against someone who has different views, even if that doesn’t mean I understand them. I really don’t see why you can’t inject a needle in your arm to save a life. Yes, I know there are risks if you get any vaccine – or any medicine for that matter – but there are even bigger risks if you don’t get it at all.

I am fully aware this is a very debatable topic, but it needs to be talked about. The Corona Virus is a serious and relevant topic, and it continues to spread day by day. We have the power to help change the way things are. It would not be immediate, having everybody fully vaccinated is the first step.

I know asking for the whole country to be vaccinated is a really tall, and unrealistic thing, so let’s start here at Crofton High, and do our part to work toward a higher vaccination rate in Maryland. Come on, Cardinals, we have to fly. Most shots would knock us down, but this one will keep us in the air, together.