We are in a mess right now. Not only in world events, but here at home in our backyard. In early July most of us were thinking we can go back to a new sense of normal. What happened? While I am really hoping we will crest this wave of COVID-19 later in September, in Texas and Harris County, we are about where we were last February in terms of risk, quite near the peak in mid-January, and much worse than the lows we had reached at the beginning of July. And unfortunately, the wave is still headed UP. Texas Medical Center has hit new records of hospitalizations. People who go to the emergency rooms have had to endure incredibly long waits.

As tired and frustrating as it may be for those seeking attention, can you begin to imagine what the medical personnel are going through? Our heroic medical staff are EXHAUSTED and quite truthfully, angry, because they believe this latest wave was preventable.

Dr. Nicki Zeisig, a physician who serves in the Memorial Hermann health system, was recently quoted saying, “Gone are the days of feeling like ‘health care heroes.’ If anything, we are more like captives of the pandemic at this point.”

Personally, I do not understand how the vaccination against COVID became so political. But then I tend to run with a group who are likely to do things that benefit others even if an inconvenience for themselves. I mean I go to the doctor when sick and take their advice and the medicine they prescribe. When an issue comes up with my car, I take it to a trusted mechanic to diagnose and repair my vehicle. Yet, on this issue, we ignore the supermajority of the medical community and listen to a few outliers … some of whom have only the flimsiest of excuses. I am not trying to be political … I know people on both sides of the political spectrum who will and will not get vaccinated. Granted some cannot get vaccinated because of other medical reasons and some cannot get vaccinated because they are not in an age group for which the vaccine is approved. Some are just hardheaded (sorry I wasn’t going to go there). So, we who can be vaccinated should get vaccinated to protect those who can’t. Again, that is just my personal feeling and I have put my arm where my mouth is with no unexpected side effects.

We can talk rights and privileges all we want, but I remember lining up in the hallways of my elementary school, one class at a time, and the school nurse giving us all the DPT vaccine and doling out sugar cubes with the polio vaccine. We all did it. No one wanted polio. No one wanted diphtheria or pertussis or tetanus. I don’t believe anyone wants COVID. So, if you haven’t been vaccinated (and can), please reconsider. If you have been vaccinated continue to provide a little extra distance between you and others (if in a crowd, consider masking up) and as for any healthy person, use good hand hygiene.

I started the article asking, “What happened?” The answer is simply, “You happened.” Either you have done your part to help prevent the spread of the COVID virus; or you have done your part to set up the spread of the COVID virus. The choice is yours. As I told my parishioners, God gave us a brain, let’s make use of it.

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