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Elected leaders: Have you been vaccinated?

I got my second COVID vaccination today. As I write this, my left arm is already pretty sore, and I am feeling a bit foggy, like I did after the first dose last month.

But mostly, I am feeling immensely grateful and so, so blessed to join nearly a third of Livingston County residents who have received either a first or second vaccination. The State of Michigan reports that 18.3% of Livingston County residents have been fully vaccinated, while 31.9% have received a first shot. (You can check out the numbers for yourself by clicking here).)

Wherever we land in the vaccination cycle, we’ve all got a certain amount of immunity.

What a wonderful thing.

For a couple months now our elected officials — from the Livingston County Board of Commissioners to those serving in the state capitol — have been fussing about vaccine allocation, complaining that the county was receiving less than others because of the use of the Social Vulnerability Index for distribution, which sent shots to communities with more at-risk populations. One of our commissioners went so far as to infer that Livingston County was receiving less than others because it is Republican, and our governor is not.

I don’t believe there was anything nefarious — or political — in the initial distribution of the vaccines. There were only so many to go around, and a decision was made by the state to distribute them based on the SVI, a decision that didn’t sit well with our county board. Despite the initial trickle of vaccines into Livingston County, if you fast forward six weeks, it’s like the vaccination dam has broken.

Receiving the COVID-19 vaccination is something to be celebrated, and lots of us — me included — have posted on social media pictures of our vaccination cards, or of us getting jabbed.

The picture you see here is from my first shot on March 7. Despite what my face appears to be saying, it didn’t hurt a bit; you see, I am a big, big baby with an irrational fear of needles. I squeezed my eyes shut as hard as I could in anticipation of getting jabbed with what I’d heard was a really, really long needle.

When the person jabbing me told me it was all over, that I could open my eyes and quit holding my breath, I didn’t believe her because I felt nothing.

NOTHING.

The shot was no big deal, I found out, but I am sharing the picture here because I think it’s funny. And because my hair — which I chopped myself after watching lots of videos during the lockdown in which people gave themselves cool pixie haircuts — looks pretty funny, too.

I share here because our elected folks should do the same. Now, they don’t need to provide photographic proof of vaccination, but I call on them to report to their constituents whether they’ve been vaccinated because they are, after all, our leaders, and I think we all can agree that if there’s ever a time to show leadership, it’s during a global pandemic.

So, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, are you vaccinated?

I get lots of press releases from our folks in Lansing on any number of things, including all issues COVID-related, but I’ve not received anything about their own vaccinations. State Sen. Lana Theis: did you get your jab(s), and if so, when? Same for you, state Reps. Ann Bollin (who actually came down with COVID in November) and Bob Bezotte. And if you haven’t received any vaccine yet, do you plan on it?

And I’ve not seen any information from our county leadership as to whether they’ve been vaccinated; this doesn’t mean they haven’t, just that I haven’t seen anything from any of them that they have. So, Chairperson Wes Nakagiri (District 3), and commissioners Kate Lawrence (District 1), Carol Sue Reader (District 2), Doug Helzerman (District 4), Jay Drick (District 5), Mitch Zajac (District 6), Carol Griffith (District 7), Jerome Gross (District 8), and Brenda Plank (District 9), have you been vaccinated? And if not, do you plan on it?

Since the county commissioners voted last week to end the Declaration of Emergency for virtual-only meetings, I am guessing they either are fully vaccinated, or they don’t think COVID is much of a threat. Either way, that’s something Livingston County’s residents deserve to know.

Our elected officials can drop me an email at maria@thelivingstonpost.com. I’ll keep readers updated on whether they’ve responded, and if they do, what their vaccination status is.

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3 Comments

  1. TL…. I don’t think that this is public shaming nor appalling at all.
    Maria is not DEMANDING an answer.
    I would think that these ‘public servants’ would be proud to announce that they care enough of their constituency that they have already received the vaccine in order to protect them … …. (or …)

  2. Public servants should serve and protect the public by getting the vaccine, and, since they are PUBLIC servants, encourage vaccination of all by sharing their experiences. In case they missed the news, Michigan is the nation’s latest “hot spot” for infections, and Livingston County residents are in danger.

  3. They are NOT our “leaders”, they are public servants and NO ONE owes anyone else their medical records. Your public shaming of anyone for not sharing their vaccination status is appalling.

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