This weekend I’m reading the travel section of the newspaper, because- we can hope, can’t we? There are a variety of articles on how airlines, travel agencies, resorts, even countries will navigate our new era of the vaccinated and unvaccinated. One paragraph just snagged in my memory like a burr:
R. Anne Miller and her husband are in one camp. They were vaccinated in February. “We’ve observed all precautions and quarantined for the last year,” says Miller, a retired lawyer from Tucson. “We desperately want to travel.”
Katy Kassai, a business consultant and frequent traveler from Regan, N.D., is in another camp. She is unvaccinated and plans to stay that way. “I don’t feel the need to get vaccinated,” she says. “And I’m comfortable with that choice.”
(From The Navigator column by Christopher Elliott in the Washington Post 3/28/21.)
If you have been reading my blog, you probably realize that I have grandchildren in another country, who I have not seen in a long time. My husband and I (both over 65) are vaccinated. But what matters is another country’s decision, whether to let us in. Not my husband and me as individuals, but Us, as in Americans.
I tried to think of a way to express my dismay at Katy and her like-minded citizens. Here is my attempt at a fable:
Once there was a pile of lumber. It was good lumber- the best. Each board had its own unique beautiful grain, straight sides, length. The lumber wished to see the world, so they were thrilled to be used in a boat.
Bit by bit the boat took shape, with curved sides and pointed prow. Until they came to one board.
“No thank you,” she said. “I will ride, but I choose not to be part of the boat.”
“Why?”, the other boards exclaim. “We need you!”
“Why should I bend?” She said. “I am fine the way I am. I have the right to a spot IN the boat. I can’t be forced to be OF the boat.”
“But we need you,” the other boards said. “You are not some small splinter we can overlook. You are a board. If you do not join, there will be space for the water to come in. We will all sink.”
“You made your choice,” she said. “I’m comfortable with mine.”