I received my vaccine this past week and I am ready to reflect on the COVID-19 vaccination controversy.  To use a metaphor, not all races are created equally: some are sprints, some are relays, and some are marathons. Each race is important, although they are all different. No one has ever said they do not regard a sprint as a valuable race simply because it takes place over a shorter amount of time.  
In 2020, we were catapulted into a sprint, a relay, and a marathon at once with the Covid-19 virus' invasion. Everyone had to learn to react quickly and with accuracy, like a sprinter. We had to learn how to hand off to and receive from others, like a relay racer and we had to hunker down like a marathoner.
With the COVID-19 vaccines available, it’s tempting to believe we’ve crossed the finish line. Unfortunately, that’s not yet the case.  As we are being vaccinated, scientists must continue to work on vaccines since they currently only provide short-term immunization (e.g., the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine lasts 6 months).  Thus, scientists must continue to contend with Covid-19 in this relay phase, where the handoff from the public goes back to them so they can continue to explore methods of immunizing us. 
This work occurs in the midst of continuing data arising regarding the origins of this virus, which is important information to monitor, as it may affect how they work through the process.  
I have been surprised by the number of educated people who refuse to receive a vaccine "because it was made too fast," ignoring the context under which this speed was encouraged. Later COVID-19 vaccine doses may be more immunizing than current ones, but that’s a natural benefit of time that humanity cannot manipulate. Even though future vaccines might be better, it’s of utmost importance for people to become vaccinated now, with the vaccine options we have available.
I chose to receive a vaccine because of the ease with which Covid-19 spreads. We are in a race against time, trying to hand off vaccines to as many people as possible before the virus reaches them.
When covid-19 hit, it is as if we were playing musical chairs and the music stopped. Now, everyone is scrambling to find a seat. Those who aren’t playing by the rules are potentially taking a gamble with their lives as well as other people’s lives. 
We are in a race against time, trying to hand off vaccines to as many people as possible before the virus reaches them. 
Isn't it customary for those who do not play by the rules to be penalized? Perhaps no one should have the luxury of refusing the best defense that we currently have against our assailant. I believe this is an issue of America's prejudice.
Not only is COVID-19 wiping people off of the planet — those in communities of high poverty are disproportionately affected. Preservation of life ought to be our number one goal, as individuals and as a society.
Perhaps refusing the COVID-19 vaccine should not be allowed. I understand that politicians are weary of the political backlash of a heavy-handed approach, but their hesitation to take a stand might be why COVID-19 infections have spread as widely as they have in the U.S.
Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the state’s mask mandate, which is dire news in my opinion. In the context of a public health crisis, government officials are expected to act with good faith in their decisions, and a mask mandate seems like an obvious decision.  As we continue to champion our rights in this great country, we must not forget our responsibilities.
Recently, the CDC announced that vaccinated Americans can now travel. This is my  recommendation too--a strategy that positively reinforces vaccination, wherein people are rewarded,  for taking action rather than, being punished for inaction.
I am of the belief that both positive reinforcement strategies and mandates could be relevant at this time as we work together, help us reach the COVID-19 finish line. 
Although vaccines aren’t required, receiving one if you’re able could be a life-saving action taken in a dire time for humanity. Not only does a vaccine help the person who is vaccinated, but it also helps us fulfill our obligation to others by promoting health and safety throughout society. Now, this is how we should live!