Silvia Pinto, age 13
I wrote this monologue for the WriteGirl character and dialogue workshop. It’s about the inner thinking of a COVID vaccine.
The Purpose of a Vaccine
Why do I have to give my life up just to help someone?! I mean, I didn’t sign up for this! I just want to go back to my safe space in the lab, just hanging out with my other friends as we listen in on the doctors’ gossip. The smell of chemicals as the scientists try to find out what’s causing this whole pandemic. And just knowing that somewhere in a drawer of a lab, you are the solution.
And then today, a nurse just opened up the drawer and took all of my friends and me out! She sucked us into little bottles with sharp pointy things on the end, and then we were shipped off into a truck! Just like that! I didn’t even get to say goodbye to my old drawer!
By then, my friends and I figured out where we were going. We instantly knew we were going to help someone. This was the moment we’ve been waiting for our whole lives! Our purpose. It’s why we were made!
But I started having second thoughts. I didn’t want to be injected into someone, and blindly have to go fight off a virus! I wasn’t done with my life as a vaccine! I deserve to go back in my drawer, with all my friends, and just wait it out till the next global pandemic. But I was tied down in a little bottle. How was I supposed to get out of there?
So I waited. Till we came upon our destination. It was a HUGE stadium! Filled with a long line of cars, piling up for miles! A bunch of people with lab coats on, and blue cloth around their mouths and noses, came to unpack the truck. I was carried out and placed on a table. My friends were there too, except they were all cheering, “WE GET TO HELP SOMEONE!”
No, no, no! I don’t wanna help anyone! I want to just go home! I’m not done with my life yet.
“We’re going home!” my friends shout as the nurse picks them up. I watch from the sidelines as one by one, they disappear into the arms of the people in the cars. I can’t believe they’re forcing me to do this. The nurse picks me up next, but I feel nothing. I have no choice anymore. I’m powerless.
A fragile old man rolls down his window in front of me. He hands a slip of paper to the nurse and pulls up his sleeve to prepare for me. I look in the eyes of the man. Fear spreads across them and he bites his lip in distress.
And then suddenly, I understand why my friends said they were going home. It was to help these people — this old man. I was going to help him live. And that’s a gift that I can’t just throw away. So I gathered all my might and finally knew my purpose. I was going to help this man. Because I am a vaccine. And it’s what I do. And with that, the nurse picked me up, and off I went.