Reality Check

I have caught a couple of commentaries on the current Delta Variant surge of the unvaccinated that has brought interesting perspectives to the table. One with a background in anthropology, commented that the anti-vaxxers are acting like religious fanatics. They won’t get vaccinated because it flies in the face of their dogmatic beliefs, but that’s not new in human history. Archeological digs have uncovered evidence of ancient societies that became so rigid that when external changes came, they were unable to adapt and collapsed in on themselves instead.

This rang true for me since I have recently confirmed that the family member who has been texting me links to “End Times” videos this past year is also an anti-vaxxer. Furthermore, look at how many pastors have staunchly preached anti-mask/anti-vax directly from the pulpit. These churches have not wavered in their stance even when these same clergy have died of COVID-19.

Now, we have health care workers exhausted and speaking out. We also have a growing anger among the vaccinated because we’re unable to get back to any sense of normalcy even though we’ve done our part.

In the meantime, the unvaccinated are consuming massive amounts of finite medical resources which is requiring hospitals to once again postpone treatments and surgeries by reclassifying them as “non-essential.” In far too many places, non-COVID-19 health care continues to get put on the back burner as people are discharged before they should be or added to indefinite wait-lists. We haven’t even begun to calculate the true costs or the long-term effect it will have on our economy.

Now, we’re seeing stories like, 11-month-old baby with COVID airlifted 150 miles due to pediatric bed shortage in Houston hospitals. Think about this. Houston has more hospitals and medical facilities than any other city in the world, and they have run out of pediatric ICU beds.

With so many voices volunteering to be silenced, this crisis will dramatically change the American political landscape. For example, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been one of the most fervent advocates for this extremist ideology and continues to be blind to the numbers – even his own. He was elected in 2018 with a margin of victory of 32,000 votes. So far, Florida has lost 39,000 people to COVID-19 and is now the state getting hit hardest by the Delta variant.

Yet, DeSantis has doubled down on his fanaticism by forbidding schools to mandate masks to help keep children safe. No matter what, a few parents will not waiver in their zeal even after losing a child. But for others, witnessing the horror of their child being intubated will be the gut-punch that gets them to start questioning. We’ve already seen some of those turn to social media.

While DeSantis blocks any and all efforts to mitigate the spread of the Delta Variant with his fist defiantly in the air, he has his other hand out asking the Federal government for 300 more ventilators. He knows the consequences of what he’s doing, or he would not be asking for additional medical equipment. Likewise, Texas Governor Abbott also understands the consequences of using his emergency powers to block local authorities from enacting protocols in response to the growing health crisis in his state. At the same time Abbott blocked those efforts, he also put out a call for additional health care workers to come to Texas.

These two high-profile governors have clearly demonstrated why calling today’s Republican party a “Death Cult” is not hyperbole.

We have no idea how many will be left partially or fully disabled as COVID Long-Haulers or the countless number of COVID orphans that we’ll need to provide for. Even more heartbreaking is the knowledge that we’re still only part-way through this.

Ultimately, we just need to keep doing what we’ve been doing: wearing masks, socially distancing, and getting vaccinated. In the end, we’ll be the ones left standing. The ones who will still be here to pick up the pieces and, hopefully, start building a brighter future.

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