Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Coronavirus Update 8–11–2021: Mad as hell

How are you? Delta is spiking Covid infection rates to their highest levels since last winter. Hospitals are again facing a crisis of space. Breakthrough infections are a grim reality. Masks are again becoming part of our daily lives. How am I? I'm mad.

How mad? Mad enough to voice my resentment to WebMD.

"I am angry, I am resentful, and I think it’s a fair and appropriate response," says Jonathan Hyman, a Berea, OH, attorney who blames the unvaccinated for the backslide in pandemic progress.

Hyman has been following the difficult guidelines health experts have been urging from the beginning. He has been masking up, avoiding large gatherings, postponing travel, and he signed up to receive the vaccine as soon as it was available.

"We have been responsible, I did everything I was supposed to do," says Hyman, 48, who didn't visit his parents for 18 months to keep them safe. "Yet here we are, 16, 17 months later, and it feels like we're in the exact same place we were last summer, and it’s all because some people refuse to do the responsible things they were told to do."

I'm not alone in my anger.

  • "I can't fathom the fact that people have seen over 600,000 Americans die from COVID, yet are resistant to a vaccine that provides direct protection for themselves and others. Their irresponsible decision is an affront to those of us who are vaccinated and still wear masks for the benefit of our society." James Simmons, retired teacher.
  • In the interest of public safety, I believe the government and private businesses need to [make] life difficult for the unvaccinated. They should not be allowed to dine at restaurants, ride public transportation, attend concerts, or broadly be in spaces with large concentrations of people without passing a COVID test at the door. …The holdouts at [this] point are beyond convincing. The vaccinated should be able to return to a level of normalcy, and the unvaccinated should face restrictions. Any other dynamic puts the stress on citizens who did the right thing." Eric Jaffe, creative writer.
  • "When America rallied together to combat polio, there were two things we didn't have. One was a lack of the sewer-dwelling, troll-infested social media, which has become the main source of news for the less intelligent and arrogant. Second, children were dying across the country, and that made people sit up and take notice." Ed Berliner, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist and podcaster.

We, the vaccinated, are angry. We've done our part for ourselves and others by getting our jabs. And yet our lives are still on hold because half of our fellow Americans have refused to do the same. To date, Covid has killed as many Americans as who were killed in combat in all of our wars combined. And that doesn't even scratch the surface of the millions suffering the debilitating effects of long Covid.

We are at war against Covid. Wars demand sacrifice and selflessness, not self-centeredness and selfishness. We need to start acting like it so that we can all resume our lives to a level of pre-Covid normalcy, not just those who've decided to ignore the virus and act like the pandemic has ended. It hasn't, and unless and until enough of us get vaccinated, it won't. 

So, how are you feeling these days? If you're up to it, please share in the comments below.