What? Have I forgotten the horrors of that year? Shutting down life. Giving up entertainment and restaurants. “Zoom” entering the lexicon. What in the world was wonderful?
Vaccines! That’s what.
Vaccines were no longer a hope, a promise. They were a reality and the great drive to inoculate began.
And how so many of us responded with enthusiasm! We oldsters first, among the most susceptible to the initial version of Covid. Day after day we attempted to sign up to get the shots, but the perfect time slot always disappeared as someone beat us to it. When finally we did snag a spot, we often waited in long lines for that little shoulder prick. We did it for ourselves and we did it for our community.
How glad we were when eligibility was extended rapidly to lower and lower age groups. We were assured if we could get 75% or 80% of the population vaccinated, we would lick this scourge that had taken over the world.
It was working. Shopping in stores, eating out, and other familiar pastimes slowly returned to our lives.
Suddenly things turned sour. We watched in horror as nationwide vaccination rates dropped from over three million a day to less than 500,000.
We learned that much of the population would not believe the danger of the virus. Some were young and, in the foolishness of that age we all exhibited when we were there, didn’t believe harm could come to them. Some were concerned about threats to pregnancy even though assured any potential danger was slight and stories of pregnant women taking ICU beds abounded. Others feared the vaccine had not been tested enough despite the fact millions had received the shot with few problems. And worst of all, there were untold numbers who received advice from anywhere except knowledgeable sources and suddenly the health of our nation became a political issue.
What happened is we never achieved herd immunity. As a result we informed the virus it was okay to mutate, and baby delta invaded our land.
And it makes me mad. The honorables did their job. But they had to pay the price for the others who didn’t. In many ways.
An obvious one is due to the rapid and huge surge of the delta variant. The honorables once again returned to the masks, social distancing, and other safety measures that had worked before. And then watched as many ignored all such precautions and all valid evidence as they continued to spurn the vaccinations that could return us to normalcy.
Then there’s the problem of hospital access. Because so many did not act honorably, those of us needing a hospital for non-Covid help either can’t get it or must endure long emergency room waits. I know of one case where the wait was 36 hours!
What about the toll on health care workers? They thought they were through the worst and then Covid came back with a vengeance. My daughter is with a county health department and must deal with the latest surge. She is angry because she feels this is a surge that didn’t need to happen.
Finally our community is being asked to cut back significantly on water usage because oxygen is needed to purify our water supply. But it’s also used for hospitalized Covid patients (over 90% of whom are unvaccinated) and there isn’t enough of it to satisfy both demands. So guess what. The honorables are being asked to sacrifice in order to save the lives of those who refused to do their part. I wonder how many of the unvaccinated (the ones not yet in hospitals) will attempt to conserve water—or is requesting that they do so taking away their freedom?
I’m tired of the self-centered non-thinking science-ignoring who refuse to act responsibly, that is, honorably. I’ll do my part to try to save them, but I’m mad that I have to