Whenever I got sick as a child, I never hesitated to take Robitussin. Why? Because I believed that the medication I was taking would live up to its advertised promise and relieve my symptoms. Ironically, the response to the COVID vaccine has been quite different, with some people not taking the shot that’s proven to assist in managing their sickness and reducing its severity.
Veda Rolle, a Bahamian native and woman of faith, has lived in The Bahamas her entire life and thrived on the sun, sand, and sea in her home, an island paradise. Although the vaccine has been shown to assist in recuperation and weaken the pandemic strain impact, she is adamant in her choice to remain unvaccinated. The Bahamas experienced 37,453 COVID cases throughout the pandemic, with 833 deaths.
With the vaccine, just like the rest of the world, the country began opening up under a new way of living while coping with the pandemic. On the bright side, The Bahamas has recently been cleared with level 1 status by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). The Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honorable Dr. Michael R. Darville, commented on the cause of this shift in status by saying,
“The Level 1 CDC rating reflected the sustained downward trend in COVID-19 infection rates in the country, which is due in no small part to how Bahamians and residents have adhered to COVID-19 protocols and bode well for our tourism industry and our economy.”The Minister of Health and Wellness, the Honorable Dr. Michael R. Darville, The Bahamas
Fear of the vaccine has been a topic of interest since its release. For Veda, she feels at ease remaining in a “wait-and-see situation.” She explained her concern for the long-term effects of the vaccine and not knowing the health impacts of what is being placed inside the shots. When commenting on her personal choice to remain unvaccinated, she expressed her resistance to the vaccine by saying:
“I don’t trust the Big Pharma, and I don’t admire the government’s position of coercing folks to get the jab; then, just calling it a “jab” is not attractive.”Veda Rolle, a Bahamian native
When asked if she thinks the vaccine does more harm than good and, if so, why Veda replied:
“One can only reach a conclusion based on the information disseminated through the various media and mediums. If the media, scientists, governments, and physicians can’t be trusted (as they may be partly due to self-interest), our conclusions will be tainted. Therefore, how much harm or good depends on disseminating truthful information. Therefore, I don’t know, as there are so many diseases that are man-made, and who can tell if these result from the side effects of other medications and vaccines? Nevertheless, I don’t live in unnecessary fear because I serve a GREAT GOD.”
Veda trusts in her faith, and millions worldwide have resorted to their means of preventative measures. Some people still choose to wear masks and sanitize in public, limit the time spent outdoors, and make homemade remedies. Veda, trusting in God to continue being her protective shield, has continued to be cautious and follow strict guidelines to limit her COVID exposure.
The development of the COVID vaccine has resulted in a rigorous debate about the legitimacy of technology and medicine, leaving some questioning the safety of healthcare writ large. Indeed, we’ve seen a transformation in healthcare and technology; however, who’s to say this is positive for society?
Veda shared her thoughts on the evolution of society by saying,
“The Triune God will give man the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to continue to use technology to revolutionize medicine. The Word of God says they will be wiser but weaker. I pray that the knowledge is used for good and not evil.”
In addition to her faith, Veda believes in natural remedies such as nasal sprays, salt water, nasal steaming, and other medications like Hydroxychloroquine as a means of prevention. Although Veda is anti-vaccine because she does not trust the government, Pharma, etc., she believes Hydroxychloroquine is a valuable solution to COVID.
[Author’s Note: The Food and Drug Administration has not approved Hydroxychloroquine as prevention or treatment for SAR-Cov-1 COVID. A study in the Lancet reviewing 247 clinical trials reaffirmed that there is no benefit of Hydroxychloroquine in treatment or symptom reduction.]
Understanding Veda’s point of view and hearing her reasoning for being hesitant, I can appreciate her choice to refrain from receiving the vaccination. While it may be a scary decision, the pandemic has driven us all to make choices we never thought of making. Veda’s strength, faith, and determination have shined like no other. She has remained strong, steady, and steadfast – not only in her choice but with her faith. We all choose to confront the pandemic the way we feel best. Veda’s choice to remain unvaccinated and her steadfast faith is her personal protection.