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From the South

By J. Rafisura — Junior Warden

Spring has sprung! New beginnings! Rebirth!

I wish everyone a renewed spirit to re-start a fresh year ahead. This is a new beginning and our hopes are high for a year that should be better than the last. It may be this year that we might be able to meet again in person. It may be this year that we may be able to confer degrees and do some rituals. It may be this year that we will go back to what we used to be as an organization (with more improvements on communication and virtual meetings added to our fraternal resumė). We will be Freemasons 2.0!

Also, it may be this year that we will be reminded how awesome it is to shake hands, hug, high five, fist bump or simply just stand a little bit closer to each other while having casual conversation, without masks on! Hoping and praying that this will be the year.

In the meantime, let us continue to meet virtually. Your officers and key members are regularly meeting to discuss lodge matters, youth orders, hall associations, etc. Please do attend whenever you have a chance.

On January 5, I had my first Moderna Covid vaccine dose. From the very beginning of the development of Covid vaccines, a lot of information and/or disinformation circulated about how it can cause horrible lasting side effects, or worst, even death. So far, as one of your human “guinea pigs”, I am currently doing perfectly fine. I had my second dose 28 days after the first one. With that, I felt some mild flu-like symptoms with body and joint aches, low grade fever and maybe a little congestion. It was generally tolerable and nothing that could not be soothed by a hot chicken soup. After 1-2 days, all discomforts were gone. I would have been worried if I did not feel anything. It would have meant that my immune system is so dumb that it is unresponsive to stimuli that would normally prompt to defend itself and produce natural anti-bodies. To feel certain side-effects like what I previously mentioned means that your immune system is robust and is functioning as it should. While no vaccine is 100% risk-free, still, the benefit outweighs the risks. Severe side-effects may be possible but in very small percentage (1 in 1.4 million) This is the reason why you will be placed in an observation area for 15-30 minutes immediately after every shot to make sure you are fine. I encourage everyone to please consult with your Primary Care Physician, obtain reliable information from CDPH, CDC or local hospital and have your shot whenever you can. We are all in this together and it may take a “herd” to completely eliminate this virus.

Looking back at history, in 1947, Small Pox was detected in New York City and it was reported to have 30% mortality rate. NYC then quickly decided to vaccinate all citizens and as a result, it has completely eradicated the virus in a few months!

Looking forward to seeing you again in-person!

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