COLUMN: Reality check – It’s time to get the jab

Nobody want to admit that they may be vulnerable

When I got home on Friday afternoon, I didn’t realize I was in for a day of mixed emotions and self realization.

It started the second I walked in the door and my wife, Pearl, told me I had mail. I couldn’t figure out why she was snooping on my laptop but I immediately went to my inbox and discovered it was empty.

Was this an early April Fool’s prank? I asked, only slightly annoyed. She laughed at me and pointed to an envelope on the counter.

“You’ve got mail,” she repeated.

A letter? An honest to goodness paper letter sent by another human being with a stamp and everything?

I haven’t had one of those – except junk mail, coupons and the odd one sent by the local group of Jehovah Witnesses – in months, maybe years.

Then I saw who it was from – Fraser Health.

Palms sweating, hands trembling ever so slightly, I opened the letter.

Was it test results? Do I have Cancer? Did I not pay my last parking ticket when I visited Abbotsford Hospital (no pay parking in Mission still, thank goodness).

It was none of the above.

The letter, signed by Dr. Bonnie Henry herself, informed me that I was now able to book my Covid-19 vaccine appointment because I had been declared a CEV.

While I took this as good news, after all I am pro-vaccine of all kinds, the one question nagging at my brain was “what the heck is a CEV?”

It was explained further in the letter, but did nothing to make me feel better.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable!

“I’m a what now?” I thought to myself as I stared at my wife. “There’s nothing wrong with me,” I said out loud with an indignant tone.

I was feeling upset that I have been classified as vulnerable, no extremely vulnerable, by a doctor who has never even examined me.

What evidence is there that I qualify as a CEV.

That’s when the self realization part of this day kicked in.

I may see myself, in my mind’s eye, as any normal middle-aged editor, but the real world, the medical world, judges me in a more realistic fashion.

Alright, I’m overweight and I don’t exercise. And I sit in front of a computer all day and a television all night. But that’s not sick. Right?

Sure I take medication for kidney disease and for cholesterol, and high blood pressure, but who doesn’t.

Also, when I was seven years old, I was diagnosed as an insulin dependent Type 1 Diabetic who for the past 49 years has taken between four and six needles a day, but vulnerable?

And maybe I have a sweet tooth and tend to eat potato chips and some chocolate bars and every now and then some ice cream (but it has to be Dairy Queen) but who doesn’t have an indulgence or two.

Then there was the bout with cancer and the darn brain aneurysm, but I got better, so they shouldn’t count. Should they?

Obviously a mistake has been made, but who am I to pass up an opportunity to get my Covid-19 vaccine. I mean, I wouldn’t want to infect some one else. Right?

Joking aside, this has been an amazingly difficult, completely bizarre time. We have seen the best and sometimes the worst in people brought out by this pandemic.

We all owe more than we are able to pay for the sacrifice that has been made by our emergency workers – nurses, doctors ambulance drivers, paramedics, medical transfer drivers, firefighters, police – as well as teachers, daycare workers grocery store workers, restaurant employees, retail workers, the list goes on and forgive me if I didn’t mention you.

As an editor, I have been able to work in relative seclusion without breaking my bubble. Many people can’t.

And if I can help to slow down the spread of Covid-19 by getting a jab in the arm, well of course I’m going to do it.

But I’m not vulnerable. Now pass me my banana split.

– Kevin Mills is the editor of the Mission Record