A few months ago, it looked like the worst of the pandemic was behind us. Covid was a much more manageable disease that our hospitals could handle. We’re a long ways from that now. The current surge is the worst we have seen, and Macon County is one of the hardest hit places in the country. It didn’t have to be this way.
At last count, less than half of Macon County residents were fully vaccinated. Honestly, I’m embarrassed and appalled by that number. And why have so many people chosen not to be vaccinated? From my interactions with local people, the number one reason is politics.
This country has become so divided that we can’t agree when the sky is blue or the grass is green. We can’t even come together during a pandemic and do what is necessary to protect ourselves and others. Many have taken the advice of malicious fools on social media over the advice of their own doctors.
I know of five local men who recently died of Covid. All of them should have had many years left to enjoy their families. One was a former pastor, one a coach, one only weeks away from marrying again, one died just days after retiring from a local factory where he had worked for 49 years, and one the father of young children. They all were conservative leaning men, good men, who didn’t believe Covid was a real threat.
No, these weren’t men with severe preexisting medical conditions. They didn’t already have one foot in the grave. They were people with plans and dreams of the future, who I have no doubt would still be alive today, had they been vaccinated.
I don’t think people understood what the restrictions and “lockdowns” were about. They were primarily set in place to ensure that our hospitals wouldn’t collapse under the pressure of a pandemic. They were set in place to keep the patient load manageable, so other health conditions could still be treated.
Now we have very few restrictions. The state is basically counting on people to do the right thing, like wearing a mask, socially distancing, and getting vaccinated. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of faith in that plan working.
I’ve seen a lot of selfish behavior. I’ve seen people laugh at the pleas of our health department and even the reported deaths of local residents. It’s sick. Honestly, such behavior worries me more than the threat of Covid.
But I’ve also seen the selfless dedication of many people in helping others. Frontline healthcare workers were there way before there was a vaccine. Would I have been so brave? I don’t know.
At this point, all I ask is that if you haven’t been vaccinated to speak to a doctor about it. Ask him or her what their recommendation is. Don’t look to your political party or some goon on Facebook for medical advice. Weigh the risks. The vaccine has proven itself self safe a million times over. Do you really want to fight Covid on your own?
I’m disgusted with our local county board who has forbidden our health department from releasing Covid statistics to the public, just when such information is so vital to the community. They did it because they saw it as bad “PR”. That’s how one of the board members put it. I don’t even know what to say to something so ridiculous. To the Macon County Board, do the right thing. Stop making Covid political. It’s not.