Rays of sunlight pierce through the windows of my grandmother’s house and I can hear children laughing and playing outside, while family members embrace each other in greeting inside.
We all have a version of this memory from before the pandemic when hugging and gathering with loved ones in large numbers were part of our daily ritual. We all want to be able to return to some resemblance of our old lives, to be able to hug our grandmothers, kiss our children, and embrace our friends.
I thought we were almost there, Bahrain, the last stretch, but the drastic increase in the number of daily cases in the last week has been disheartening. The one important thing we can all do now to get back on track is to vaccinate.
While, yes, my family members have been vaccinated for our own safety and the safety of our nation, but most importantly for the protection of our grandmother. In her fragile age, she’s the reason we still keep our distance and we work, and hope, to return to social normalcy.
I have no doubt that many Bahraini families have the same drive; the health and well-being of their elders. In our society, caring for our elderly parents and grandparents is more than a religious or moral duty; it’s our way of life. It’s our act of love for the people who cared for us when we were young and who provided us with everything in their power. Now, it’s our turn.
Bahrain has successfully vaccinated over a quarter of a million people with the second dose and over half a million people with the first dose. But that’s still not enough, we need more of us to register and join the government’s efforts in building immunity in the community.
I’m not here to preach the effectiveness of vaccines or debunk the (many) conspiracies surrounding it, but the facts remain that vaccines reduce the risk of serious complications associated with the Covid-19 virus and are effective in slowing existing and new variants.
Working as quickly as they can, scientists from across the world have been collaborating and innovating to bring us these vaccines, which will collectively save lives and end this pandemic. But most importantly, for us as a nation, the Covid-19 vaccines are a pathway towards social normalcy.
At the end of the day, stopping a pandemic that has been raging for a year requires everything we have. Wearing masks and social distancing help reduce the chance of being exposed or spreading the virus, but they are not enough on their own. Vaccines work; years of scientific evolution have proven that.
It’s been a year of challenges we’ve never faced before and yet at every corner we, collectively as a nation, have managed to overcome each difficulty. Let’s make this our final hurdle and get vaccinated to protect our country and to protect our grandparents.
Ms Toorani is a columnist, speaker and the former Deputy Editor of the GDN. She can be reached at [email protected]