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Let’s Bring Our Industry Back

It’s March 2021, and the pandemic in the United States is looking hopeful. For me, at least. Next month, vaccinations will be available and accessible for all Americans, and it’s free! 

On the topic of vaccinations

I want my life back. I enjoy life without masks, the freedom to commune with large groups of people, and the opportunity to perform on stage again in front of a large audience. “I am SO ready for this!” is an understatement. 

Admittedly, when the idea of a new vaccination came out, I was adamantly against it. I said things like, “I won’t be taking that any time soon. Yeah, I guess I won’t be leaving out the house for a few years. You aren’t experimenting on me.” 

Yep, the list goes on. 

However, at that time, I thought this ‘thing’ would be over by August 2020 at the latest. That is not our reality. Why? 

Because people weren’t responsible, and states opened up too soon. The anti-maskers would rather spend a field day protesting their right not to wear a mask, while Black Americans + allies were protesting the right to have due process without being shot dead on arrival. This world we live in is crazy hypocritical, but that is where dancers come in. Artists. 

We use our art and creativity to move the world into a better, more aligned space. When people of all diverse backgrounds attend a performance, the rest of the world stops, and the attention is on the story we tell through our artistry. 

If I were performing today, my story would be this.

I am one human being with the power to make decisions that impact not only myself but others.

Taking the vaccination is for more than just my protection and life. It’s for the circle of humans around me. It’s for people I cross in my walk down the NYC streets or the dancers I crave to share a studio with again. It’s for the newborn baby who is too young to get vaccinated. It’s for the child whose life is more at risk taking the vaccination at this time than not. It’s for our collective future. Especially artists, to get us back to a place where we can create and celebrate art on a large scale. Aren’t you ready for those days to open again? 

I chose to take the vaccination, and so far, so good. Before taking it, I came to realize a few significant points. 

  1. This moment is not the first vaccination in the history of vaccinations. In other words, they know HOW to make vaccinations. For them, it’s another day, another virus, and another vaccination! Yes, there are symptoms and long-term concerns. But, we were at risk for the very same symptoms without it, with the potential to lose millions of lives, including our own. 
  2. I know people who personally participated in the vaccination trials. These people sacrificed and took a risk to help the scientists create a vaccine that would protect billions of people. I was unwilling to do that. But, I am willing to take a shot now that will inevitably have the same impact–saving billions. 
  3. Some vulnerable adults and children cannot take this vaccination due to age and other medical conditions that put them at greater risk. We must protect them. I know people in this position, and therefore, must continue to be responsible if I am ever to see them again.

For me, it’s mostly about social responsibility. Everyone is deserving of the life we once had. Everyone is worthy of a world without masks. The fact is I can’t think of a single person who was ‘happy’ to wear masks. Some of us choose to deal with it, while others continue to be willfully self-centered. Those who genuinely have a medical condition preventing them from wearing masks are the exception. 

Dancers, we have the power to take our industry back. We can give it life. We can get back to the world without masks, responsibly. Let’s do this. If you can take the vaccination, please do. Our industry depends on it. Please do your research, read the science behind it, and take a responsible step towards our performing artistic future. 

The Sonja McCord X supports using our art and personal brand to make an impact. 

Everything is happening on Instagram. Please follow us @thesonjamccordx and join our inner circle @dancervisibility.  

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