By ARINE GARIN
Ironic isn’t it? The virus people were avoiding and feared last year seems to have been overtaken by selfishness and blinded prejudice that in turn has prevented a return to normalcy.
“The New York Post” recently reported a student being mocked at a school board meeting by stating his grandmother, a teacher, “died of COVID because someone wasn’t wearing a mask.”
While I personally believe in vaccines, following simple steps can save lives.
The word “COVID” is no surprise to anyone. It is embedded in our daily lives. Looking back at the previous year, I remember the terror of the unknown virus causing widespread panic in everyone’s eyes.
From the empty grocery stores to empty streets COVID has impacted the lives of so many in a harmful, insidious manner.
Protocols were put into place and the city went into full lockdown. It put a halt to everything. Schools went virtual, unemployment rose, mental health cases worsened and hospitals were overloaded. This was a prison in itself.
When the rollout of vaccines and the promising results came out to the public, it brought a sense of relief. It was a way to go back to normal, but that took time.
Fast forward to 2021 and everyone is divided about pro-vaccines and anti-vaccines. Self-choice is a given. I’m in no authority to say what others can do to their body, and I certainly don’t want anyone taking my rights to my own.
I do, however, prioritize my family’s and friend’s safety above all. Stop distorting and obscuring facts with rumors from social media. If you’re not vaccinated, take into consideration the lives you’re putting into danger.
Day-by-day, the virus adapts itself into new variants resulting in increasing cases that are even affecting children now. According to “The New York Times,” nearly 30,000 children were admitted to the hospital in August.
Vaccine trials are now being presented with Pfizer announcing topline results with ages 5 to 11 with distributions coming within months.
Comparing the data from the Amarillo public health department, the hospitalization rate of Amarillo on Sept. 10, 2021, was 15.52%. As of Sept. 22, 2021, the Amarillo hospitalization rate was at 16.30%, a 1% increase in the span of a week. Our city is in a state of a pandemic and at a status level RED!
Stop arguing with your neighbors and take a few, simple life-saving steps: Wear your masks, avoid immunocompromised people and those who have serious medical conditions, never misrepresent your vaccination status, stay at home and quarantine whenever you experience like COVID-19 symptoms.
The COVID pandemic is a health care crisis not a political or ideological battle. It is up to each of us to do our part.