Can we be politically correct “In Time of COVID 19”

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.

Published by Changes in our Lives

I am originally from Canada but have lived in Mexico since 1976. My husband is from Merida, Yucatan and we raised our family here. We both worked for many years at Tecnologia Turistica Total (TTT), the tourism, language and multimedia college we founded for local and international students. Now retired, we enjoy spending time with family and friends, My other interests include reading, painting, cooking and travel.

10 thoughts on “Can we be politically correct “In Time of COVID 19”

  1. Hello Joanna – I’m with you. I don’t know why people would not adhere to the rules for covid protocol when they know that if we all followed the rules we’d be relatively free in several months. Some of our leaders have given false messages about the virus and vaccines. Fooey on them! Since you asked – no, I don’t know what’s wrong with them. So much ignorance when the truth is plain. Thanks for this post. I hope it sways some of the ignorant. — Hang in there. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’m so sorry we ALL have to miss out on certain aspects of life for the time being. I’m learning to be grateful for what I still have. Maybe that’s the only thing we can hang on to. Stay well, my friend! xoxo

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    1. Thank you Alex. You are right… following the COVID protocols is all we can do. Any amount of rebel-behavior or denial is futile. Here we are back in “orange” and yes, I resent the people who are out there partying and carrying on. Their imprudence affects me in a huge way. I know some people cannot avoid going out to work and to do so, they have to use public transportation. But I am downtown nearly every day and I never see local people withou masks. Even the little kids wear them. It is not them spreading th disease. It is being made stronger by people who know better but are too selfish to tow the line.

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  2. Joanna, Thanks for writing what I have been thinking. I realize how angry I am at the folks who refuse vaccination. I, too, was brought up to respect other people’s ideas on religion and other hot topics, but, when your germs are most likely flying in my direction, I draw the line. I find it stupifying that more than half the US inhabitants didn’t go to the local drugstore or the stadium or wherever to do such a simple and obviously beneficial thing. I equate vaccine refusal with patent ignorance of even basic science and despair that we live in such a world. On the other hand, there are all those people in Central and South America and Africa begging for vaccination and dying in the thousands while they wait because their governments can’t seem to get it done.
    I, too, question whether our students will be able to go back to the classrooms in September. It is looking very unlikely. I am familiar with 3 local families who have Covid right now and, based on anecdotal evidence, there are at least 2 dozen other people who have caught it from one or another of the family’s younger members. Really?!?!

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    1. I know… it is getting out of hand. Why can’t people just accept the fact that COVID 19 is extremely contagious and it is unpredictable? Some people with seemingly high vulnerability don’t get too sick and others who should have high resistance, die. We cannot be sure which group we fall into, so let’s do everything we can to strengthen our chances of coming out of this world-wide crisis

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  3. I agree the anti-vaxers make me angry too. I well remember during the polio scare all the kids in schools were vaccinated (three shots over time plus one booster). A doctor and nurse came to do the job. No one screamed about one’s personal rights. I was brought up in a farming community where people worked from dawn to dusk, helped one another out and worked together for the common good. Nowadays I am completely gobsmacked as to why so many are afraid of the shot. Technology, medical research and education have come a long way over the past four decades but instead of being more knowledgeable it seems many are backsliding into 19th century mindset..

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    1. Hi Sharon, I mentioned in my reply to Auntie Alice that I believe some people think they look cool when they rebel… but really, when did they all acquire the knowledge of virologists and other researchers. Internet information looks credible but most is exaggerated and sensationalised. I do not like to be overly opinionated, but I have lost some respect for my friends who have refused to vaccinate and follow protocols. I am also sick and tired of the restrictions, but when we are faced with a truly dangerous threat, we have to trust in our authorities and work together.

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  4. Why can’t people just follow the rules? Could all have been over by now if people had just tried a little harder? Most people here are very good about wearing masks, distancing, and getting their shots at the first opportunity. BUT . . .
    Last Monday we had our 6-month dental check-ups. Dentist is an older man who is good at his job. Hygienist is a women in her 60’s, always seemed quite normal. In the course of chatting, it came out that neither had been vaccinated and had no intention of doing so. She came up with another myth for your collection. She said that her doctor (in Duncan) had told her that if her daughters ever wanted to have children, they mustn’t have the vaccine as it could prevent their being able to. Had I known in advance, I think I would have cancelled my appointment with them. As it was, I had had my second shot, so just decided to remain in the chair and get the cleaning over with.
    Dentist told me that he has been invited to lecture on a particular dental technique at a university in Florida and was very bitter that “the Canadian government was going to charge him $10,000 to get back into his own country”. After a little probing, I discovered that this was the fine ($5000 for him and $5000 for his wife) for refusing to go into government quarantine at his own expense upon return as they would have left the local health authority (Vancouver Island, the little islands, and a small piece of the Sunshine Coast) unvaccinated and been in another country. He was convinced that this was a police state money grab. Just because we have had few cases on this little island does not mean that we are typical of the great wide world. He was reading penalty for himself into the situation rather than safety for other people. How many educated professionals out there are acting as he is?

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    1. I think for the most part, health professionals are very aware of the dangers COVID 19. They see the illness first hand and there’s nothing like that to straighten a person’s thinking.The dentist’s assistant who told you her “doctor” in Duncan said her daughters would be made infertile by the vaccine probably made up that story. I think for the most part the refusal to vaccinate is an aversion to conform to authority. Somehow a lot of over-60 folks seem to have embraced the belief: “If I rebel I look cool and young.”. We see this same mistaken belief manifested in the sad ponytails affected by many an old geaser. In women, it is that shock of purple hair streaking thrugh the white. We all need to act our age and show some sense.
      .

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  5. Thanks for expressing your beliefs. I agree with you and would take it one step farther- required vaccinations! Don’t tell me I am treading on individual rights. What right? The right to carry the virus and spread it to others? I am not a parent to young children now, but if I was, I would not let my child return to an actual school unless all students, teachers, & support staff were vaccinated. Inoculating the world us our only answer to this pandemic.

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    1. Claudia, you have a point, but I would stop short of actually forcing people to accept the jab. But if international governments would make the consequences for not getting vaccinated so restrictive to daily life, people would get in line and accept the vaccine. It would be just like other ID. We have identity documents, financial records, educational diplomas and so on… if we did not have them we could ot do much day-to-day essential busness. If non-vaccinated people were not allowed to board a plane, attend a large concert or any other massive event, they would probably get with the program all by themselves. To not do so would self-restrict their “individual rights”.

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