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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Young NOTLers say getting vaccinated is best way to resume normal life

Molly Bowron
Special to The Lake Report

Six young Niagara-on-the-Lake residents who have received the shot agree that getting fully vaccinated is imperative to going back to normal and ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think that the vaccine is the only way to get life back to normal,” said Carrie Robinson, a 21-year-old student at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Que.

Niagara Region's public health department last week urged youth, especially those 12 to 17, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. To be ready for school in September, students would need their first shot by Aug. 3, the region said.

Those who have their second dose by Aug. 24 would be fully vaccinated when school begins Sept. 7, public health said.

Having life back to pre-pandemic norms is “basically the only thing I care about,” said Robinson. 

“Being able to see people again and being able to go to school, in-person courses and getting everybody back to normal life.”

Sixteen-year-old Olivia Dubois, who lives in the Garrison Village area, is fully vaccinated, as is her sister Emilie, 21.

“I got the vaccine because it helps stop the spread,” Olivia said. “A lot of people I know around my age are vaccinated.”

Emilie said she thinks “it’s important that everyone gets it. Well, everybody that’s eligible to get it should get it.”

Like many people in her age group, Annika Johnson longs for the way life was pre-pandemic. 

She acknowledged the COVID vaccines were developed quickly, but said, “I think that although it was fast, it's something that we can trust.”

The 21-year-old Chautauqua resident is a nursing student and said she has struggled with online schooling, wants things to go back to normal and trusts that medical professionals are doing the best they can.

Working at Balzac’s on King Street, Emilie Dubois said she has encountered customers who disagree with the vaccines and the protocols that are laid out to protect everyone.

Some people “don’t seem to be taking this pandemic as seriously,” she said, noting she has crossed paths with anti-maskers.

In one incident at the NOTL coffee shop a “this lady and her son came in and they didn’t have masks on. They asked if we minded serving them without masks.”

“It’s not like they had a medical condition. We even offered to give them masks and they just didn’t want to wear them.” 

She also is worried that some people are no longer following the rules, or respecting other’s safety.

It all comes down to people doing their part so life as we once knew it can resume, she said.

Josh Kuhn, 21, said he feels strongly about people getting the shot and following protocols. He has had both his shots.

“I do believe the vaccine is essential for us to return back to society and to function,” the NOTL resident said.

The way Virgil's Coner Newman sees it, getting vaccinated is the best chance at having everyone get back to our old routines.

Newman, 21, has been vaccinated and said, “If you get it, you are playing a part in things going back to normal, which is obviously what people want.”