To bee or not to vax

I attempted a bee rescue in Hod HaSharon last night that isn’t going to happen. They managed to build their hive between the 3rd and 4th floor of a building, cracking open a floor or ceiling is a bit much to ask the homeowner.  My other option — repelling from the rooftop, and setting a one way trap into a new hive is far too risky. There is an allergic kid living nearby, so it looks like extermination. Sad. That’s exactly what we try to avoid. Bees adapt surprisingly well, considering we have so mucked up their environment. We know that our botching with nature has put them in a precarious position, and as we all know, our interests are aligned. 

Even when we have tried to do things for the better, humanity has time and again gotten it wrong. This is what my kishkes are screaming since I am in line to get the vaccine tomorrow. We know the data. Israel is proudly leading the word in Covid vaccinations. We traded data for doses, apparently, and paid a premium. On one hand it is a huge coup (word of the week). We will be the first to get rid of this thing, earlier than any other country.

My kishkes, however, are not convinced. There is so much we don’t know. The “what ifs”. What if we only have one shot at this mRNA thing. Our cells learn. What if they can only be programmed once. Does this mean that in a few years, when mRNA code injected into a body can eradicate 20 diseases – including dementia and cancers, that I would have missed my chance. I am jumping on a Covid vaccine for a pandemic, where I have a much better than 99% chance of surviving.

Does this future FOMO concern, and others, make any medical sense? I have no idea, and pretty sure no one else really knows either. What does the science or data say? It speaks only after a ton of testing. I mean we are supposed to be a light unto the nations, not a data point that could go awry. 

So should I go tomorrow? In the end, the answer will probably be yes. My favorite parable is the guy who fell out of the boat, he refused the rope, the life raft, and any help, claiming he was a righteous man and HaShem will take care of him. He drowns, shows up at the pearly gates perplexed, asking the angels why he was left to die. Their response: what do you mean, we sent you help, a rope, and a life raft.

In the end it is a calculated leap of faith, not exactly in our hands. I will take the shot. Hope that it is a life raft, and not an anchor in disguise. Like bees, us Jews are adaptable. Humanity muddles its way through, often makes a big mess, yet more times than not it works out. We Jews have a history of staying power, a narrative akin to bees and honey. It’s a blessing to be a part of our hive. So, of course I am jumping on the raft.

About the Author
Ken Milman moved to Raanana from Los Angeles with his wife and four boys in 2013, his daughter joined a couple years later. On the rare occasion he is not working abroad, or trying to convince his boys to go on some extreme adventure, you can find him biking, sailing, beekeeping, spearfishing, or tasting rare whiskeys and olive oils with friends.
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