By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – This probably won’t be a popular opinion, but I have to be honest.
I am sick and tired of losing good people to coronavirus. A very good man died this week from Covid-19; he was 57 and had recently retired from teaching. He was a popular high school football coach during his career and highly regarded by his peers. He leaves behind a father, a brother, a sister, and two children.
My friend is but one example of the hundreds dead from this virus.
You can tell me that these people died from their comorbidities, from sepsis, from heart attack, whatever; the point is, they’d be alive still had they not contracted the coronavirus.
Another good friend of mine came down with Covid-19 over the Christmas break. She is in her 50s, and in excellent health. She has mostly recovered from her illness but is still recovering from the double pneumonia Covid brought to her. She’s being closely monitored for blood clots.
My stepson, a nurse, caught Covid from a patient. Young and in excellent health, he suffered greatly and was hospitalized for a week. Because the hospitals are full, he spent over 30 hours in the ER waiting for a room
I know people that I otherwise thought were intelligent, educated professionals who are refusing the vaccine because they’re convinced that the government is injecting something into them through the virus.
I can no longer pretend understanding for people who think the virus is a politically motivated hoax. Even those who believe government officials are using the virus for nefarious gain – to tank the economy, to promote themselves, whatever.
I have been called “delusional” because I believe the virus is real and that it will kill you. I do not care. Names do not hurt me.
I believe in the science.
And I am tired of watching friends suffer or die because people won’t wear a mask, are tired of wearing a mask, or think masks are stupid and useless. I am tired of parents sending their kids to school sick, while they wait on test results to come back. I am exhausted for the health care workers putting in twelve hour shifts laboring day after day to save people who are drowning in their own fluids because someone else thought this virus was a political tool.
We are so busy trying to solve the immediate crisis that we aren’t thinking too much about the coming mental health toll all this will bring.
Over the holiday season I have seen my social media filled with people gathering with family, extended family, and friends. I’ve seen photos of New Years celebrations, baby showers, football playoff parties, and birthday celebrations. And now the case numbers are higher than they’ve ever been. Go figure.
Deaths are rising too.
I know that people have to work, that the economy has to keep going. I get that. I see the benefit having the schools open has on our children.
But I’m past being patient with people who are too selfish to wear a mask and maybe save someone’s life.
I’m looking at the children of my friend who died yesterday and wondering how they will ever understand this.
Wear your mask. Get your vaccine. Let’s just please do our part to help end this and we can analyze conspiracy theories later.
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.