Before I start today’s blog, please do me this small favor and wear a mask, socially distance, use hand sanitizer, and get the vaccine as quickly as you possibly can. COVID-19 is the modern equivalent of Russian Roulette.
I’m seeing too many of these stories on my Facebook feed, from too many of my Facebook friends. And every time I see them, it frightens me.
A classmate of mine from Hamilton College was one of the early people to contract COVID-19. He survived.
A former intern and blogger at the Times Union contracted COVID-19. She survived.
A former neighbor of mine – when we were kids, we would race our tricycles down the side of a hill – he contracted COVID-19. He survived.
One of my longest-tenured blog readers, along with her husband, both contracted COVID-19. They survived.
Heck, one of the bloggers on my blogroll just posted that a family member of theirs has COVID-19.
A band member from one of the groups I played on WHCL back in the day, her wife contracted COVID-19 and was all the way to a ventilator. She survived.
And every time I see these stories on Facebook, I think to myself … thank God they survived. I don’t know if they’ve developed the symptoms of “long COVID,” with fatigue and brain damage and tissue scarring and permanent loss / mutation of taste and smell. But they were able to beat back this disease. They are fortunate.
But I know it’s a matter of time before I check my feed and find that someone contracted it – and passed away. And that would be a tragedy. We’ve lost close to 500,000 men and women and children, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, grandparents, friends, confidantes, all of that. And even one life is too many to lose. We grieve every death. We pray that no more will die.
I’ve been buoyed by the understanding that new and powerful vaccines are manufactured and distributed every day. And more and more people are receiving innoculation. That makes me very happy.
And then I hear stories about anti-vaxxers blocking people in Los Angeles from getting vaccinated at Dodger Stadium. Or a doctor in the Midwest intentionally taking vaccines out of a temperature-controlled freezer to spoil because he believed that vaccines would cause sadistic genetic mutations in the innoculated. Ugh. These people are fighting against what we’re trying to stop – misinformation that can kill you and prevent you from receiving help.
We also have people who are using the COVID pandemic as political marksmanship. Around here, it’s “Well, Andrew Cuomo was a terrible governor, look at how many people died in New York from COVID.” That’s a logical fallacy, it implies that Cuomo helped spread the disease willingly. No. Cuomo took immediate steps to stop the disease as soon as he could – he had to shut down in-person dining in restaurants and large gatherings so that the disease could not spread as quickly. Did he make mistakes? Sure he did. Did his decisions impact your life? Of course it did. But what else could he do when the Federal government at the time was still gazing at its collective navels and saying that the disease would simply go away with warm weather?
And let’s face it. Blaming Trump or Cuomo or anyone for the deaths of nearly half a million people won’t bring those people back to us. But what we can do right now is our own part, stay safe and stay protected, so that we don’t lose another half a million people. I don’t want that to happen. And I know you don’t as well.
I’m thankful for those that survived COVID. I really am.
But I don’t want to think about the day when I read that someone caught it … and never fought it off.
That would hurt me more than a harpoon in my heart.