Solutions: ‘We’re all in this together’


I never thought about articulating why I got vaccinated.

The Hall of Fame batting order of emergency room doctors, public health experts and CDC scientists advocating for vaccines was enough for me. I got vaccinated as soon as I could.

So, I was unprepared to respond when a friend told me he and his family weren’t getting vaccinated.

Greg Loughlin

Credit: contributed

icon to expand image

Credit: contributed

We were chatting in his intown Atlanta yard as our sons returned from playing ball at a nearby park. I realized that I hadn’t seen him respond to a busy group chat where fellow parents were sharing vaccination stories.

“Are you guys vaccinated?” I asked softly, looking down the road towards the park.

“No,” he said.

We looked at each other.

“I’ve studied the statistics,” he added, “and my family has a good survivability rate if we get COVID.”

An image flashed in my mind of heartbroken friends who told me the night before that they had lost multiple family members to COVID. In the moment, I chose not to share that.

Perhaps I wanted to avoid conflict – or an emotional exchange – more than I wanted to tell the truth.

Instead, I said awkwardly, “Well, we’re all vaccinated.”

“OK,” he said.

“OK,” I said.

I know that my friend loves his family just like I love our family.

He earnestly believes that his family’s “survivability rate” will protect them.

That may (or may not) be true, but here’s what I wish I had said:

Hey, brother, we’re part of a community too.

What about our neighbors? What about community members who are at risk?

And, you might believe you have a good survival rate against this variant, but what about the next variant – allowed to evolve because we didn’t contain the current variant with enough vaccinations?

Our personal batting average doesn’t matter if the entire team loses. As the local major leaguers say, keep the line moving.

Please get vaccinated.

We’re all in this together.

Greg Loughlin is a community contributor for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He is a writer, social worker and advocate and lives in East Atlanta.