Carine Hartman
Chief sub-editor
2 minute read
26 Jun 2021
10:32 am

When fear sets in and the death toll rises, ‘to jab or not is the question’

Carine Hartman

Remember that excitement when the virus first hit and we went into lockdown? It's long gone.

An empty vile of the Pfizer vaccine. Picture: Neil McCartney

My teacher friend’s mom died of Covid. Yes, she had lung cancer, but Covid took her, I’m sure.

She went to hospital for a series of tests and, while there, the damn virus attacked her. You’ll argue it’s a “Covid-related” death.

I’m saying what chance did she have of surviving it at the frail age of 82, with her compromised health?

Long story short, the hospital sent her to my friend’s home to die. And that she did four days later.

Between the tears and the trauma, my friend now worries about getting the virus again. Yes, again.

What choice did she have? The schools reopened and she had to go; couldn’t, like me, play hermit in her safe house.

Hardly back in the classroom, she got it – and promptly gave it to her daughter, too.

“But we’re both young and strong. I was only in bed for two weeks,” she tells me.

“And I didn’t go near mom while I had it.”

So is she isolating after mom’s death? Well, 10 days later she’s sitting across from me on the stoep drowning her sorrows. And that scares me witless…

See, I’m “of that age”, so I’ve been careful. Very careful.

In fact, I truly am a hermit, I decided. I venture out, but only to shop, and only at spacious shops where I can keep my distance because no one else does.

For the rest, I’m on an island.

Yes, I once in a blue moon have somebody sitting far away from me on the stoep because sometimes you just need to hear another voice other than the one in your head.

Remember that excitement when the virus first hit and we went into lockdown?

Working from home; finding your feet – and space – in a full house where no one really understands that you are working now? That excitement is long gone.

Now, I’m just lonely. Lonely, but safe…

How safe, I wonder quietly, while my friend tells me she doesn’t think she’ll have the jab, having been through the mill and all and all?

Her mom never did have a chance to get the jab…

Well, I do have the chance and I will get the jab, if only to stop being scared.

And who knows? I may just get some Pfizer superpower…