On my heart today: My great grandmother, Hulda Swensen Mordal. In this photo from 1997, Gram is holding my son, Elliott, age 2, her great great grandson. At that time, Elliott was close to the same age as Hulda’s daughter, Thelma, when she died from Influenza during the 1918 pandemic.
Thelma died in Hulda’s arms, a heartbreak I cannot wrap my head around. I wonder how she might have responded to the notion that the deadly virus that killed her daughter was really just a “hoax?” Or to the idea that a potentially life-saving vaccine to combat the virus was a “conspiracy?”
Perhaps there’s something to be said for those simpler times, before television talking heads, evangelists, and internet gurus built their megalomaniacal fortunes on the denial of individual choice.
I believe we all have the capacity to hold opposing points of view with tenderness and love. To label my decision to be vaccinated a “hoax,” or your decision not to vaccinate a “conspiracy theory,” is to deny both our individual humanity… and our right to choose.
I think we can all do better. I know I can do better