by Karen Langlois
Three years ago Mike lay in an Edmonton hospital bed. He hadn’t been able to breathe properly for years and no one knew why. In the end it was necessary for him to be airlifted to Edmonton and placed at the top of the urgent list for a double lung transplant. He made it through this very difficult surgery and we stayed in Edmonton for the arduous recovery. His transplant was a miracle of modern medicine. Another miracle of modern medicine – vaccines.
Covid-19 came along and we have been in lockdown for eighteen months. True lockdown. No running to Timmy’s for a coffee. No seeing Mike’s transplant doctors in person. And for Mike, one of the most difficult things, no playing music for others. We rely on amazing family and friends to bring us what we need. We have turned our music teaching studio into an ongoing FaceTime call.
COVID-19 is a disease that attacks the lungs and it most likely would kill my husband. He has a severely compromised immune system due to the anti-rejection medication he takes every twelve hours. Covid-19 would latch on to him and not let go. So we have stayed home.
The news of vaccines was a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. Maybe now a chance to regain some semblance of normalcy. See our parents, get our own groceries.
But, that tiny light is dimming when I hear about so many people refusing this little miracle, the vaccine. These are people I thought I knew: relatives that I considered to be educated and rational, professionals in the community and students who are receiving misinformation from adults who should know better.
As Mike and I have received our first and now second vaccine doses, we share this good news with family, friends and students. All virtually of course! The majority of people are just as elated as we are. We will be able to see each other again!
It is heartbreaking to hear the opposite response from other relatives and friends. They tell us they will not receive the vaccine. This is scary. This snuffs out that light. We do not know how well the vaccine will protect Mike because he is so severely immunocompromised. We need everyone around us to receive the vaccine. We need everyone to embrace this miracle of modern medicine. This light.
You, who will not get the vaccine, will be the ones who keep the pandemic going. You will be the ones who keep Mike locked inside the house. You will take away all the beauty and excitement of this incredible world for him. You will stop him from playing music.
Would you accept the miracle of a lung transplant if it would keep you alive? Please think about that when you will not accept two needles in the arm. Mike has fought for his life once. Do not make him fight for it again.
Karen Langlois is a local artist and music teacher. She lives in Prince Albert with her husband, Mike, and cat, Poco.
by Karen Langlois