OPINION

Great health care workers

Matt Nowak

I am totally in awe of our health workers during this time of the pandemic, which now is being called the pandemic of the unvaccinated. I’m not sure that I could show up every day to give care to people who have refused to be protected and who then get sick enough to go to the hospital.

Matt Nowak

There are certainly those who feel that they cannot or do not want to be vaccinated because they fear what might happen to them and their compromised immune systems from the vaccine. On the other hand, I seriously doubt that most of those folks live in large regions such as southwest Missouri or in other southern states.

In many southern states, the vaccination rate is very low and now the Delta variant is ravaging those areas and straining the health care system once again. You have to wonder how long the nurses and doctors can continue to work extended hours before they start to limit their own time in hospitals.

It’s one thing to be taking care of people who are ill from normal causes, but it has to be another thing to have to care for folks who have put themselves in the position to get seriously sick and need emergency care. These nurses and doctors have already gone through more than a year of hard duty and it seems ridiculous to have to go through it again needlessly.

I also wonder how many of us have that strong moral bearing at a young age to want to go to school to become a health care worker in a culture that includes large numbers of folks who refuse to care for themselves. It’s one thing to want to help people who get sick, but it’s another thing to be able to help people who choose a lifestyle that may make them sick.

I wish that it was as simple as being a lifestyle choice to choose whether to get vaccinated or not, but they are endangering all of us by willingly becoming vessels for the potential evolution of the virus into something far more dangerous to all of us, even those of us who have been vaccinated.

Viruses mutate at a very fast rate and thankfully most of those mutations do not work well enough and that variant simply dies off, but obviously, some of those variants become successful and spread rapidly, as is evidenced by the Delta variant. It’s only a matter of time before another variant expresses itself and that one could be the one that gets past our present vaccines.

I personally have little sympathy for those who refuse to get vaccinated and who then become ill. In fact, I do have some disdain for them because they do present a real danger to the rest of us by offering the opportunity for the virus to mutate into something more deadly.

As I said, I have tremendous respect for the health care workers who continue to show up for work and care for those who put themselves in the way of danger. You probably don’t want to see me in scrubs in a hospital with the responsibility for your care if you are not vaccinated.

I have no doubt that there are some who would say that maybe it’s a Darwinian thing and that a lot of the unvaccinated will die. We don’t know why they would choose to endanger themselves that way, but survival is for the strongest, so be it.

I have no doubt that social media has a major role in leading those folks down that path and I don’t know how to fix that. That is a rat hole that has no bottom. Maybe it’s a mental health issue because it really doesn’t seem to make sense.

Again, my congratulations and great thanks goes to our health care workers. Hopefully, they can keep up with the stress. A lot of us have our lives depending on them being there for us.

Matt Nowak is a retired natural resources specialist and lives in Lansing.