Another COVID outbreak appears to be transpiring. As America celebrated significant milestones with vaccination efforts, many people were still spurred by misinformation, lack of evidence, and education. The COVID-19 vaccine naysayers are in all walks of society, from the uneducated to health care professionals. I think it’s fair to say that our civil liberties and part of our belief in freedom of choice will be the downfall of this nation. I am a believer in freedom of choice, but not at the expense of the greater good of society. What I see right now is pure insanity and selfishness. Did humanity not learn from what just happened and is now beginning to happen again? Millions of people worldwide have died unnecessarily because of this COVID-19. Not only that, people have been killed because of delays in treatments and diagnoses, and stretched human and physical resources.
I am writing this letter as a plea. I am begging that authorities use the power that has been bestowed on them to protect society for the greater good. This COVID-19 pandemic it’s probably the biggest pandemic in modern-day history. This pandemic comes in a period of history with an imbalance between personal liberty and doing what is suitable for society. I am dumbfounded that a simple ask such as wear a mask, Space, wear a mask, basic hygiene, and get vaccinated, has been ignored. The same people that refuse to get a vaccination for a somewhat preventable illness are dying in scores. They account for the majority of hospitalizations and deaths because of COVID-19.
As much as I don’t like wearing masks, I understand the importance. Vaccinations help, but it’s important to note that it does not make you superman or superwoman. You can still be infected with COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, though it might be less severe if you do receive the vaccination. Also, once infected, you could still transmit this disease to your loved ones.
My friends who are reading this, my colleagues in the medical professions, my fellow civilians of this planet, please heed my words. This pandemic is far from over. As long continue to battle with misinformation, ignorance, and frankly selfishness, this pandemic will take a life of its own.
I have spoken a few times on this. I have written a few times on this platform because I am passionate about my message. I have saluted my fellow health care workers. I know you are exhausted. I know that you likely feel taken advantage of by society and frankly feel angry, which is more than warranted. Health care workers are leaving their jobs in droves. This mass exodus of health care professionals is being seen all over the nation and also in Canada. The constant demands of working long hours and continuous trauma on even the most stoic provider. The exodus of health care workers, first responders, paramedics, and other health care professionals will be detrimental to society. We were losing individuals on the front lines and became versed in treating this horrible virus. When people are fed up, exhausted, mentally ill, and feel frankly taken for granted, they often reach the point of no return. We all know how long it takes to train health professionals. It takes many more years after completing wants professional training to become skilled and competent truly.
To those that are reading this message, please share it with others. Our world is in crisis. This pandemic is far from over. I decided to keep my mask on as much as possible, even after COVID-19 mandates were lifted.
I feel we have gone too far with relaxing policies. As a society, we are far from herd immunity. There are other countries in this world, other mothers, other fathers, other health care providers, daughters, and sons who do not have the opportunity even to receive one dose of the COVID vaccine. I wonder how they view ours. We have everything to combat COVID-19, but we allow politics, personal choices, and many other reasons to take precedent at the expense of societal collapse.
We need to review this concept of civil liberties. I believe in extreme extenuating situations such as pandemics; civil liberties need to be on the back burner. Families trying so desperately to keep their young children safe, their loved ones with immunocompromise, and those who wish to receive the vaccination but for various reasons cannot depend on you. They count on society to do the right thing.
Our society is more educated, has more technology, access to new research, but this is not translating into actions and policy taking to policymaking and people’s personal choices. Until we as a society get back to the bases, where we value and truly respect each other, where we support the most vulnerable consistently, I feel sorry for this world—the writings on the wall.
The future for us living and our children are looking more grave with each day. My concern for my children’s future was part of why I had to pivot during the pandemic and take a break from clinical practice after a decade of practice. I was exhausted, frustrated, felt taken for granted, and thought that those who could make sweeping changes were silent. I decided to use my privilege as a physician to speak boldly about many too afraid to ask. I am a mother who loves her children more than my life, and I will do anything within my power to make sure the future is protected. I have been a consistent voice of reason during this pandemic, and frankly, I will not stop.
Please join me and respectfully fight misinformation. Would you please do the right thing for society?
Tomi Mitchell is a family physician.
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