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Protect yourself, get the vaccines

Hello

Kasehlel, Mogethin, Ran Annim, Lenmwo, Hafa Adai, Aloha, Talofa, Bula and Hello. COVID, COVID, COVID. I am really tired of this thing. Aren’t you? Trump is gone! and soon this COVID will be gone too. But you gotta do your part and be a good citizen. 

Let me say this, many thank yous to the awesome Pacific Islander Community Association of Washington (PICAWA), specifically brother Joseph Seia for what he did and does for our community. Beautiful humans of PASIFIKA are, at least in the state of Washington, taken care of in the so many little ways PICAWA is pushing through, whether it be food drives, gift cards, housing assistance, covid tests, or vaccinations. PICAWA is at the forefront of keeping all of us a little safer. And I might add, get a little recognition from the other humans. Hehehe. Way to go PICAWA! Brothers Joseph and Toka can keep on bugging me. 

It’s in no small parts with PICAWA that we got the chance to get vaccinated a little earlier and I am here to tell you it’s ok to get yours too when your turn comes up. My wife, our youngest son and myself got the PFIZER vaccine and the only complaint I had was soreness at the spot. It was more hurtful than any other vaccines I had taken. Otherwise, nothing more beyond that.

The Experience

To be honest with you, the only browny colored people in that entire crowd were the three of us. It was sad because we kept hearing on the news about the disproportionate roll out and yet, it still went on. I hope sharing this will encourage you to go out and get yours too. We must not blame others, unless they turn us down. We must bring ourselves, our families and our communities to go out and take the vaccines. They work! 

Here’s a little experience. My wife and I both got the virus and were sick from it back in October of last year. Fortunately, it was not as bad for us, but it was still tiring and I couldn’t wish on other people to have it. So, we went through that experience and now we got both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. We are grateful. Spoke with my doctor and he told me our immune system should be able to keep this virus at bay. With that in mind, I went on with my business, but knowing full well I can still carry the virus without knowing it, I still wear my mask, not so much to protect myself but to protect others. Those others can be my family members, my friends or members of my community. So mask wearing goes on… 
 
In late February, I booked our flight, hotels, airbnb, reserved a car and a truck, and got everything ready for a long planned trip to the island of Hawaii, as in the Big Island. We were and are contemplating retiring and moving somewhere, and Big Island is on top of the list. We never been there so this planned trip was supposed to be for us to get the feel for the place. The only thing that lies between us and Big Island is the COVID19 Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) from a certified Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendment (CLIA) lab.

Trip Cancelled

As it turned out, the result for my wife was positive and required us to quarantine for 10 days. She didn’t feel a thing! No fever, no weakness, not a thing, but just got bored stuck in the room. 

The University of Washington (where we took the test) called and told us she’s fully protected from the virus because she completed both dosages of the Pfizer vaccine, but that she may still pass it on to others. They also told her that she may not pass it on, but more study needs to be done on that being the reason they asked her to stay in quarantine. I asked them about myself and they told me that my immunity to the virus is probably stronger that the test didn’t detect the virus on my test. I can stay with my wife in the same room without catching the virus. Wow. Never knew that one. Looked it up and was surprised that there were first responders who got the positive test after they completed all their vaccinations and yet their partners never got the virus. There’s a chance some don’t spread the virus even if they carry it, but the risk is there. Better be safe than sorry, so please isolate yourself. 

Now, no trip to Big Island, but I learned a lot of things. One of the most important lessons for me is that the vaccines do protect us. My wife never got sick or anything unlike when we first got it. She was really sick. Two, even if you are fully vaccinated, you can still get the virus without knowing unless you get tested and you can still pass it to others, so wearing the mask is still a must. Three, it’s safe for a couple to be together if both are fully vaccinated.

Armed with my wife’s positive result, I asked for refunds from all the reservations I made. To be honest, this is truly a blessing in disguise. It felt like it’s a Friday! A payday! Hehehehe. All that money that I would have spent is now coming back to me to use for other more important things. And yes, I can still go to Big Island. 

The best thing was, I was able to get every penny back from the flight reservations, car reservations and lodging reservations. It was easy as long as you provided them with the test result. And also be nice to the people on the other end of the line. They are human beings you know. They have feelings too. 

So help protect each other by wearing your mask, wash your hands and go take the vaccines if they are available to you. 

Pacific Islander Community Association

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