In 2021, Guy Weston is a self-described COVID-19 prevention and treatment advocate. Soon after it became clear that COVID 19 would have an unprecedented impact on the world as we know it, he began to write about it. “The notion of being required to wear masks to buy groceries, with cashiers behind plexiglass barriers, leery of potential pathogens on cash money, would have been relegated to science fiction eight months ago…” he wrote in the Washington Informer in October, responding to the refusal of so many people, ordinary citizens and elected leaders alike, to wear masks.
That same month, he enrolled in a COVID-19 vaccine Clinical Trial, sponsored by Moderna Therapeutics. He rebuffs claims that clinical trial participation is tantamount to being a guinea pig. “I recall getting all the routine childhood immunizations, and I believe they protected me. I was also vaccinated against smallpox, cholera, malaria, and typhoid as a youngster, to travel overseas as a military child. I was vaccinated against Hepatitis B as a young adult, because I had a job that required me to do phlebotomy. I get flu vaccines annually. In this case, I see a long, dark tunnel in the road ahead of me, and the only light I can see is the prospect of vaccines and treatment.”. He says his thirty-year HIV/public health career taught him to “calculate” risk, and he believes the risk of some severe complication from COVID-19 infection is far greater than the risk of a life threating side effect from the vaccine. He also emphasizes the importance of Black and Brown health professionals serving as resources and role models for others, given the impact if the virus on Black and Brown communities. Guy says he sees parallels between COVID-19 and the early years of the HIV epidemic when volunteer peer health educators were influential in mobilizing communities to respond to the health crisis and reducing infection rates.
In addition to writing articles himself, his vaccine participation was featured on Philadelphia area Fox and NBC evening news broadcasts in December 2020 and appeared on the front page of the Burlington County Times and the Courier Post during the same period.
Thumbs up, after second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in November