I am so sick of writing about COVID, vaccines and masking.
But with the delta variant raging across our communities — and nation — here we go again. And we’ve no one to blame but ourselves.
The Galveston County Health District reported 992 new cases last week, a 111 percent rise from the 471 cases in the week of July 11 to July 17.
The last time I wrote about COVID, I shared my personal story about my daughter, immune-compromised even with the vaccine in her body. I even appealed on behalf of my 93-year-old father, knowing he is potentially one mild breakthrough case from extreme danger.
The vaccine is not bulletproof. But for the vast majority of people, it will keep you out of the hospital and protected from the more extreme dangers. Long-haul lung damage, organ failure and running up massive medical bills — potentially bankrupting people — all are on the table for people who are unlucky enough to catch a bad case of the virus. The vaccine is about turning the odds in one’s favor.
We are now going into COVID 2.0, so to speak. By not starving the virus of hosts to grow and evolve, we’re dealing with a more infectious version — one more dangerous. If COVID were a lizard, delta is like going from a garden-variety 4-inch lizard to one 3 feet long and armed with horns and razor-sharp teeth — even more lethal to some.
Darwinism is — and will remain — at work.
Now to something universal: COVID 2.0 is damaging businesses again.
We’ve all worked so hard to survive COVID 1.0. Our businesses were reshaped forever. And many people lost jobs, livelihoods and, in some cases, their lives. Our world will never be the same. Normal, or whatever this becomes, will always be radically different from 2019.
My friend, James Clark, is now asking his employees at the Mosquito Café to mask up again. Another, Holly Hopkins, owner of MOD Coffee, is doing the same. The reason is to help protect their employees’ health.
This is so 2020, and I wish this were not happening again. They, and other business owners, have worked so hard in the past 15 or so months.
I will fight for your individual rights — freedom of speech, religion and assembly — to my dying breath. But at some point, we need to remember we are a community of people fighting against a living organism with the ability to adapt and evolve to survive.
And Mother Nature is one worthy and resourceful opponent with a darn good winning percentage.
If we find ourselves in another artificial interruption of business because of COVID, we will all suffer. People uncomfortable dining or shopping locally will drag down our economy again. And with it, the payroll and tax revenues circuiting throughout our communities.
People need their jobs. We need to win this round before future mutations arrive. Please do your part.