I was very hesitant to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Having never had a flu vaccine and rarely taking pain killers or antibiotics it was against my usual habits. I’ve followed Adventist health principles since I was a boy, which I thank God for: eating plant-based food, drinking mainly water, not taking illicit drugs, tobacco or alcohol, enjoying time nature and the Bible to reflect, exercising with walks with my wife in nature and bike riding, enjoying gardening in the sunshine and fresh air, getting good Sabbath rest, enough sleep and trusting in God. To date these principles have given me a very healthy and active life. They help build natural immunity. The older I get the more I value living by good health principles.
When I was vaccinated for COVID-19 I did have a complication requiring medical care that lasted longer than most who have been vaccinated. But I am still pleased I was vaccinated because health is more than just the body.
ELIA Wellness (SPD Health) app and website highlight seven principles of health. They are emotional, physical, social, vocational, intellectual, environmental and spiritual. Maintaining good mental health in the pandemic has been a huge challenge. Not being able to see my parents, my children and their spouses, my grandchildren and other family and friends has been very hard. FaceTime and Zoom are working overtime but there is nothing like being with people face-to-face. We are social and emotional beings who need to hug and to hold. As soon as the restrictions eased I visited loved ones (still more to go). It is good for my health and theirs and it can only happen because we are vaccinated. Vaccination is not a guarantee, but it makes you less at risk of getting and carrying the deadly virus.
Travelling overseas to various countries has always required vaccinations. I cannot wait to be able to see my colleagues and church members in Queensland, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and other parts of the South Pacific. I will be encouraging my colleagues in the SPD office to travel as soon as they can because physical presence builds healthy disciples and a healthy church.