Last July, when I was thinking about how things would be a year from then, I never figured I would still be checking the number of people infected with COVID like I have been these last several weeks. Plus, several months ago, when the vaccine was available, I assumed, along with many of you, that everyone would race to get it. Unfortunately, you know what they say when you assume something.
So, we are at a crossroads with those that have been vaccinated and those that are choosing not to. The infection rates clearly show how bad things are right now for those people who are not vaccinated, compared to those that have already received their vaccine. In fact, the numbers are staggering. I just don’t understand why so many people have dug their heels into the ground and are refusing so strongly when the data is illustrating what I believe to be obvious. The more people who get the vaccine, the fewer opportunities that exist for COVID to continue to evolve into different variants. And if you do become infected, the risk of severe infection is astounding. Almost 100% of those who have been admitted to the hospital for treatment are unvaccinated. It does not surprise me that so many people who are in the hospital are kicking themselves or begging their nurses to get them the vaccine. It must be heartbreaking for them to have to tell their patients that it is too late and they can’t.
Please understand, I absolutely believe in a person’s right of self-determination. I believe we need to make our own choices in life and live with the consequences… good or bad. But… and this is a big but… when a person’s decision directly impacts the life of another person, I draw the line.
While I know that some people are either not able to get a vaccine due to health-related issues, it feels to me that so many others are just being stubborn because they don’t like being told they have to do something or for some reason, they don’t think this is real. What they don’t seem to get is that there is an unspoken social contract that we have with one another and they're breaking it.
I am hoping that this latest infection surge is a wake-up call and that with the latest guidelines and requirements being reinstituted, we will be able to get a handle on this and not need to return to a complete shutdown again. Remember how much we all enjoyed that?
I urge everyone… please continue to follow the CDC and local public health guidance. I know it can get a little confusing and frustrating that it keeps changing. However, we owe it to ourselves and our community to continue to do our part… even if others are not.
Like I tell my children, remember… we cannot control someone else’s behavior… the only behavior we can control is our own.