International Family Day: Get Vaccinated, It’s What Family Does

Suzette Standring
Follow Me
Latest posts by Suzette Standring (see all)

May 15 is International Family Day, and a once-a-century pandemic heightens love and gratitude, and now the separation is lifting. Recently, I asked a friend where his wife was, and he said, “She did her two week waiting period after her second vax, and she was out like a shot to see the grandkids in California.” In-person hugs are within reach.  Get vaccinated.

Last year in March, I had the double whammy of pandemic and cancer surgery isolation. My daughter and two grandgirls live around the corner, but they might as well live on the moon. David, the Guardian of My Galaxy, barred visitors for what felt like a black-hole eon.

Finally, the gals were allowed to see me, but instead of a rush of hugs, we stood there, blinking at each other like lemurs on Madagascar. 

I turned to The Warden, “Can we touch?”


I was like a prison inmate, so happy to see outsiders. That first visit was brief. As we moved to say goodbye, a word from security, “No hugging.”

But over time, my daughter and her girls joined our tiny pod, and I’m thankful for that.

At least I have a pod, and now, vaccinations offer greater hope to reach out to others.

Sound science says vaccinations are both safe and necessary. 

I got fully vaccinated with the only side effect being a day of fatigue.

Spring invites everyone outside, and when I greet neighbors, many say, “I got my shots!” 

I think, “Well, you’re safe to invite over someday soon.”

The misinformed won’t get vaccinated due to conspiracy theories or extreme politics, which is a badge of selfishness and ignorance. To wear the “I Got Vaxed” button means you’re a fact-based critical thinker, and you give a damn about others. 

There, I’ve said it and it needed to be said.

Vaccinations offer reassurance, and so many need volunteer help, outreach, and company. 

Think about seniors, confined to their rooms, who could use the presence of a kind visitor.  Or friends who lack family and would welcome an invitation. To say, “I’ve been vaccinated” makes everyone breathe easier.

It’s been very hard on single people.

Not only have they quarantined from family, but their dating lives have been put on serious hold. There are concerns of “passing their prime,” and dwindling chances of meeting the right one.  Getting back to normal won’t happen overnight, and that casts more delays and worries.  Getting vaccinated is being responsible and increases the likelihood of socializing.

If I were on a dating app, “I’ve been vaxed” would be a banner across my profile.

International Family Day is not just nuclear family, but the family of humankind. We look out for each other.  Sure, every family has its toxic members. Whatchagonnado? But most of us can reach beyond our fears to do the right thing.  

Love your family. The world is our family. Get vaccinated so we can get together safely.

This column ran nationally through Gannett and in The Patriot Ledger, 5/11/2021