As a child, were you cautioned to “mind your manners”?
I sure was. My parents taught me to respect others’ rights and not criticise their choices and beliefs. Live and let live, Mom and Dad told us. But there are times when we have to speak plainly, they added, and you will recognise when those times come.
Well, I believe one of those times is here and now.
COVID 19 is not going away. All experts tell us that the most effective ways to decrease the viral load are hand washing, social distancing, wearing face masks and vaccination. These protocols are not being adhered to with consistency, and in Yucatan, the spread of the virus is out of control. Again.
There are too many mavericks who have no medical reason for refusing vaccination against COVID 19. Diverse groups of researchers, scientists and medical teams have assured us that the vaccine is safe and it is our best defense against the virus but that does not seem to mean anything to them. They dig in their heels and say NO.
Then there are the rumors that the anti-vaxers have spread. The young woman who helps me in our home was told by her village neighbor that the vaccine will make everyone sick and that although the first jab is free, they will need to pay a lot of money for the second. The same ill-advised person also told my employee that with the vaccine, a micro-chip would be injected into their bodies and spies from every country in the world would be able to control their minds. These two women are not worldly. They believe what they are told, and they are scared.
Why would anyone fabricate such lies? Do they enjoy confusing people?
A recent Gallup poll shows that only 68 percent of the world’s population say they will vaccinate when they have the chance. 70-90 percent is required to achieve herd immunity, so the world falls short of even the minimum amount of compliance. Despite the fact that the American government has lotteries to entice citizens to vaccinate, as of early May 2021, only 44 percent had accepted their jab in the arm. As of today, Mexico has administered at least 35,166, 248 doses of COVID 19 vaccines. Huge efforts are being made, and yet the anti-vaxers say it is their right to refuse.
Tired of being shut inside, many are flocking to the beaches, restaurants and attending large gatherings. The masks are hot, so they are removed. They say they are sick and tired of the restrictions and have the right to enjoy themselves.
And what about my rights? I have complied with all the guidelines and now, after almost a year-and-a-half, I am completely vaccinated, and yet many are not accepting their responsibilities. This pandemic has caused my family huge hardship. And anyone whose actions contribute to prolonging the ordeal is no crusader in my book.
The college Jorge and I founded in 1990 is just one of the millions of independent businesses throughout the world. I am sure that all owners worked as hard as we did to build and consolidate what they have. To see forces beyond our control, breaking apart our life’s work is like a punch in the stomach.
Up until now, TTT has managed to skirt disaster, thanks to the heroic efforts of our staff and the cooperation of our students. I feel such gratitude.
But the numbers of new infections and hospitalizations continue to rise, so as of today, our state’s population will see their freedom of movement curtailed – again. If non-compliance continues, will our students be able to return to classes in September? If they don’t get back in the classrooms, they will be starting their third school year without setting foot on the campus. Will they feel disheartened and not continue their studies? If too many take that decision, our dreams and more than three decades of hard work could go up in smoke.
Our livelihood is no small deal. But also, like everyone else, we have been unable to see friends and family who live outside Merida. We miss everyone but especially our daughter in Los Angeles and our only granddaughter who lives in Norway. Emma will turn 8 next week and we have not seen her since she was 6. All the milestones we’ve missed! Jorge and I are no longer young. We don’t know how long we’ll be able to travel and see Emma. Not to mention our family and friends in Canada and other parts of the world.
Do you see conspiracy in every move the authorities make? I agree that some questions should be asked but not when the truth is obvious.
Everyone wants to live a full life, but if we could stick to the rules for a few weeks, the virus would debilitate and slowly we could start getting back to normal. We did have some sanctions lifted but many took this too far and we are all paying the price. Instead of moving forward, we are sliding back.
During the pandemic we should all be pulling together. I’ve had my two doses of AstraZeneca and I am grateful. We are lucky to live in countries where we can get vaccinated. Squandering our good fortune is not defensible.