We’ve all sacrificed over the past year, some more than others. Health care providers, teachers, and public health officials have put their needs aside for the sake of the communities, the country, and the entire world, really. People have lost their jobs, and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives. The toll of this pandemic is staggering and blows my mind.
Our kids have also sacrificed so much more than should be asked of them. They gave up their in-person social interactions. They said good-bye to teachers. They figured out how to basically live their entire lives over a tiny computer screen. Then when schools began to open back up, they wore masks for eight hours a day. And they did all this like the rockstars that they are.
Honestly, I have been blown away by how well most kids have navigated the pandemic. Better than most adults, IMO. But it’s taking a toll.
Which is why I feel the red hot rage of a thousand suns when I think of the selfish assholes who are choosing not to get vaccinated because they “don’t believe in it.” Seriously — you people are fucking it up for everyone.
We were moving in the right direction. After the vaccines were administered, cases in the U.S. plummeted. Life started to look almost “normal.” Then Delta hit. And because we hadn’t reached that threshold 70% vaccination rate, it started to spread like wildfire. Now, cases are on the rise in every state in the country – and not by a little either. CNN reported that in 46 states, the rates of new cases over the past week were at least 10% higher than the rates of new cases the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Los Angeles County, the most populous county in the U.S., has seen a 500% increase in cases over the past month and recently reinstituted a mask mandate.
It didn’t have to be this way. This could have been prevented. And our kids are paying the price for the more than 30% of adults who are completely unvaccinated.
Currently, kids under the age of 12 aren’t eligible for the vaccination, which means that masks and social isolation are their only tools of defense against the virus. But as more school districts make masks optional and social isolation is largely impossible at this point, young kids need the help of adults to stamp out this horrific virus.
“If vaccination rates among adults and kids 12 and older keep lagging amid increased spread of the Delta variant, the youngest members of the population will be most affected,” Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccinologist and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN. “Transmission will continue to accelerate … and the ones who will also pay the price, in addition to the unvaccinated adolescents, are the little kids who depend on the adults and adolescents to get vaccinated in order to slow or halt transmission.”
Cue the uncontrollable rage.
Watching numbers go up, every single state with rising cases again, mask restrictions coming back all because these people won’t grow up and get a shot and realizing all the struggle of the last 2 school years was for NOTHING. Kids carried that sacrifice & it was squandered.
— Jessica Kirkland (@jkirk___) July 17, 2021
But kids don’t get sick, people say to justify their selfishness. But that just isn’t true.
In Mississippi, seven children are in intensive care with Covid-19, and two are on ventilators. Hotez told CNN that up to 30% of children infected will develop long-haul Covid-19, which has been shown to have serious neurological effects.
“What you’re doing is you’re condemning a whole generation of adolescents to neurologic injury totally unnecessarily,” Hotez said. “It’s just absolutely heartbreaking and beyond frustrating for vaccine scientists like myself to see this happen.”
What we are asking of kids is unconscionable. They have sacrificed and suffered enough. They have put their own needs aside for the past year and a half to protect more vulnerable adults, and this is how some folks repay them? By choosing not to get vaccinated when they are eligible? By compromising the health and safety of our children? Gee, thanks.
Bottom line: The vaccines are safe. They are effective. C’mon, folks. Please don’t be the reason our kids have to make even more sacrifices.
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