Tell Giselle: is getting the COVID booster the right thing?

Critical decisions often have to be made even when there is little information and / or conflicting opinions. A typical example of this exchange is an adult who has wondered whether or not they should receive a booster injection:

I have decided to take the Pfizer booster when it becomes available from my health care provider. I trust my doctor and his organization for doing extensive research that makes me think this is the right decision.

I let my family know that I was just waiting for a notification that I can come for the recall as I am not comfortable having it administered by a pharmacy employee at the pharmacy. But I was recently presented with the question of whether taking the booster is even ethical, when many people around the world still do not have COVID vaccines available to them.

Someone I respect doesn’t think it’s ethical for some people to take it, but hasn’t exerted any pressure on me. I realize that other people may not be lucky enough to have someone who unconditionally supports them with whom they don’t agree. The opportunities in life are not evenly distributed, but what do you think is fair and / or reasonable?

G: There is not enough data at this point to be fully sure that a recall for you, or someone else, may not cause long-term adverse effects. This same argument has been made by a number of respected medical researchers and healthcare providers because these new vaccinations are exactly that, quite new compared to many other vaccinations that have been proven to work.

Yet you have decided that you are willing to assume some risks to your physical health, and that with this decision to take a booster, it may improve your emotional health, if you think it will likely or likely provide you with more protection. that if you don’t take it.

The unanswered question here is spiritual and / or philosophical in nature. It’s worth taking the time to consider this, especially with many decisions that are not always clear or that may require additional expertise and information. Not knowing your particular situation, I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to offer my 2 cents. But – usually – for those who need to care for others, whether they are essential workers in paid employment or simply family members in the role of guardian, or caregiver for them. infants or young people – anyone who feels in a higher risk category – it passes my spiritual test of accepting a booster when allowed, but only when someone is comfortable with taking one. reminder is appropriate for him.

For those who want to get the booster because it is available to them so that they can, for example, fly or travel abroad to continue with their lifestyle, and not because they have to travel for a employment or other contractual obligations, I am reluctant to give spiritual dispensation.

It’s so easy to be tempted to get the booster back so our luxurious indulgences can resume as if we were living in pre-COVID times. But this mindset denies the reality: for the successful management of this particular coronavirus, immunity and all the personal protections that are part of our individual and collective choices are necessary.

If you are able to give full consideration to the well-being of others in other parts of the United States and the world, and can decline a recall without compromising your obligations to others or your health, consider yourself lucky. Hopefully enough people will come to see the benefit of sacrificing themselves for the greater good and for the well-being of others, and will choose wisely.

Whether or not people opt for a booster, refuse or cannot accept a vaccination, most of us have the opportunity to make lifestyle changes to reduce personal and group risk and feel that we are part of the solution. rather than the continuation of a global problem.

Should I stay or should I go?

When it comes to sharing our views, especially with casual friends and colleagues, you can’t always predict if the third rail is about to be turned on. This all-too-frequent family dilemma about participating in a religious ceremony highlights the delicate balance needed to maintain peace:

I don’t want to attend the wedding of a close family friend. This has created some dust in my surroundings, and I wish I could turn the temperature down, if possible, long before the RSVP was mailed out.

I wish I could just send a wedding gift instead of attending, and not explain the reasons for my no-show, but my mom and a few others think I owe the bride and groom more than that. Do I?

G: If that comes up in the conversation, and if you’re willing to do the job of listening to why your mom supports her point, that would be my first suggestion.

Listen. Don’t react.

Just listen to why she thinks it’s important, even if you’ve heard it all a dozen times before. At the very least, you might learn something new from her. She can tell you that she thinks it is rude not to tell the couple why you can’t be at their ceremony, or she can tell you that she is upset because she thinks you are selfish in the end. not attending. She may even tell you that we are supposed to show up for our loved ones at these major events, no matter what we think of them or their choices; this family comes first. She has the right to have those opinions. What she is not allowed to do is try to shame or berate you for your choice, or insist that you respond as she prefers.

Years ago, I had the experience of declining an invitation to attend a relative’s wedding, an invitation that arrived several months before the actual wedding date.

Asked by the parent about my participation, I was honest when I said that two weddings in one year were over my budget. I was stunned by the harsh and unexpected reviews from my relative who felt that I and others had to prioritize our spending to be there.

Was I forced to explain that I was budgeting for my daughter’s goal of becoming a doctor, and that I luckily chose to be the primary vehicle for such an expensive education? Not in my spiritual playbook. If I had believed, however, it would have softened the situation I would have offered him, but I had already discerned that this was a case where more discussion would not have led to a restoration of peace. .

What I’ve learned from this experience is sometimes that the only way to get through these seemingly intractable positions is to ultimately agree to disagree, pleasantly. It takes a lot of patience and sometimes biting your tongue, but it’s usually worth it.

This wedding is just one event of life among many. Make your decision your decision, not a forced decision, and you will avoid many regrets. And if you can be generous, a wedding gift is a fun time to extend the heart, without the guilt.

Email Giselle with your question to [email protected] or send a letter: Giselle Massi, PO Box 991, Evergreen, CO 80437. For more information, visit

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