Just in case you’ve missed the news, I’d like to begin my column this week with a very specific warning:
Across the United States, coronavirus cases are surging. In Texas, we’re feeling that problem more than most states, as we continue to badly lag in our vaccination rate. This surge in cases is powered by the especially contagious delta variant of COVID-19, which can infect even those who have been fully vaccinated, as six of the Texas Democrats who fled the state to save democracy have learned with their recent diagnoses.
Cities and counties across Texas have begun requesting people take increased precautions against the virus and are pleading with everyone who hasn’t already been vaccinated to do so as quickly as possible.
But, Joe, you ask, why should I get vaccinated if I haven’t already, and people are still catching coronavirus?
Because all of the vaccines approved for use and available today in the United States do one crucial thing very well: They prevent hospitalization and death, even among those who contract COVID-19 after being vaccinated.
That, folks, is the ball game.
Vaccinated people who have contracted COVID-19 post-jab have generally reported either very mild symptoms or being asymptomatic during their infection. That keeps them from needing to take an unnecessary trip to the hospital and also prevents their symptoms from progressing to the point that they need the most drastic medical interventions available to fight the coronavirus.
From having watched how badly Greg Abbott bungled the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we already know that our state leaders lack both the fortitude and ability to effectively protect Texans from the coronavirus.
That means, once again, that it’s on us to do what we can to protect ourselves and the people we care about from this deadly virus.
Already vaccinated? Let’s keep masking up and do our best to be good neighbors.
Not vaccinated? You know what to do.
I’ll level with you here: There are lots of reasons people have chosen not to get vaccinated. I would respectfully suggest none of them are particularly good at this point.
I say this as someone who absolutely, completely and with no reservations at all, can not stand needles. I developed a needle phobia as a child and have gone through medical treatments that require regular injections.
It was torture.
I still got jabbed. I barely felt it. I experienced a few hours of side effects and haven’t looked back.
If vaccine providers recommend a booster, I’ll get one as quickly as I possibly can because your life is not worth risking to me. And it shouldn’t be to Greg Abbott or Dan Patrick (who did suggest we all use our grandparents as some kind of twisted sacrifice bunt to save the Texas economy at the beginning of the pandemic) either.
If you love your family, if you love your neighbors, if you love Texas, if you love America, please, for the love of God, get that jab.
Rona isn’t done with us yet. Time to step up to the plate, Texas.