Yesterday I stood among a group of ICU nurses feeling the burden of the present situation within our hospital. About two weeks ago I wrote a letter to the elders of my congregation about the situation within our hospital, my concerns for the congregation and my concerns for our community. The nurses feel as though we are living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. A tragedy is occurring in our community but the community is living as if nothing is wrong. People are disappearing but no one notices. Within the hospital that I work for there are 200 persons admitted with Covid-Pnuemonia; this is 200 persons above the normal admissions in the hospital. A person is not admitted to the hospital because they have Covid but when they are not able to oxygenate there bodies by normal means. Of the 200 persons admitted into the hospital with Covid-Pneumonia, about 100 persons are on a ventilator. It seems that when a person is placed on a ventilator with Covid-Pneumonia they do not come off of the ventilator; they either die on the ventilator or end up with a tracheostomy transferred to a long term care facility. This happens over and over again. Daily and often several times a day, someone goes into cardio-pulmonary arrest on one of these units. After writing to the elders of my congregation I began wearing a mask on Sunday mornings. If it is possible to have immunity I should. I contracted Covid at the end of last year and was vaccinated earlier this year; therefore, my mask wearing has nothing to do with self. By wearing a mask I am attempting to wake others up to what is going on around us; almost no one in our congregation is taking precautions and there are many persons in our congregation that refuse to take a vaccine. When I talk to my friends about what is occurring, I get a blank look like I am speaking a foreign language. What can I say? What can I do to change minds? I know that Americans in general are mistrusting of government. It is rooted in the history of how America was established. And I know that southerners are even more mistrusting of government. It is rooted in the aftermath of the civil war. I do not have a problem with people refusing a vaccine because they are mistrusting, but I do have a problem with people who refuse the vaccine and do not take precautions to protect others. The reason for wearing a simple mask is not to protect oneself but to protect the other person. I know that when I contracted Covid, I did not realize that I had the virus for several days. The symptoms begin vague and it is easy to relate what one is feeling to fatigue. Meanwhile one who is not wearing face coverings is spreading the virus to others within the community. Jesus said the second commandment is to love one’s neighbor as yourself. (Mt. 22:39) Therefore, if you refuse to take a vaccine wear a face covering when in public places that covers both your nose and mouth to protect your neighbor.
Your Servant for Jesus’ Sake