If you have followed my writing long enough, you know that I rarely get into politics. In fact, I like to avoid politics at all costs. So, I hope you will hear me when I say, this post is first and foremost, not a political statement. Rather, it is a plea to my fellow citizens to stop thinking only about your rights as an individual and begin to think about the greater good. With that said, let's dive in.
A couple of Mondays ago, I sprained my ankle while walking out of school after dismissal. It wasn't a terrible sprain. I did what I could for it. Iced it, elevated it, let it rest. I followed that regimen for about a week and a half. Problem was, it wasn't healing as quickly as I was used to my sprained ankles healing, so I made an online appointment to have it checked out at an urgent care this past Friday after school. When I got to the urgent care, I was mildly surprised after I got checked in, to be called back almost immediately. Surprised and pleased. After all, I had spent an entire week at school and was looking forward to getting home, grabbing dinner out with my hubby and kicking back on the couch for the remainder of the evening. Imagine how my surprise and pleasure slowly faded as minute by minute ticked by and no one came in to assess my ankle. I tried not to get impatient - a feat which doesn't always come easily for me. After I had sat for some time and no one came in, I began to get a little antsy. So, I poked my head out the door and saw the receptionist who had checked me in earlier. In my nicest tone, I asked whether my turn to be seen was coming close, she shook her head apologetically and responded that she was unsure but that there was only one provider that day and so it might be awhile til I could be seen. Long story short, I waited around a total of ninety minutes and when I still wasn't up next, decided to exit. When the provider caught me on my way out, I simply stated that I couldn't wait any longer and that I would come back another time. Honestly, I don't blame the provider, I don't even blame the clinic. No, in truth, the only finger I'm pointing in this situation is at the population at large.
See, I don't think we're doing a very good job of taking care of our healthcare providers right now. Healthcare workers are service providers and you know what comes naturally to service providers? They're givers. They give and give and give because it's in their nature to do so and because that's why they pursued that career in the first place. To many, it's a calling not a job. I too am a service provider, I'm a teacher and I can say without hesitation, my paycheck is not the reason I show up every weekday ready to give my best to my job. I would say that most people in my profession regard their jobs in much the same way as I do.
So why don't I think we're doing a good job of looking out for those who usually look out for us? Simply put, we're in a pandemic and instead of doing everything to stop that pandemic in its tracks we keep talking about our rights as individuals and arguing about how we value those rights above all else. Honestly, I value my rights as a citizen of this country too. But you know what I value more right now? My fellow humans. So, I wear a mask at school because I teach children who aren't eligible to get the vaccine. I'm not protecting myself. To be honest I'm not afraid of getting the virus. But, I am afraid of spreading it, and if there's even a small chance that I could spread it to a vulnerable child, I don't want to take that chance.
I'm also vaccinated. Most of the people who are being hospitalized and dying of COVID aren't. These unvaccinated citizens are straining the system and wreaking havoc on our healthcare workers' lives, If by being vaccinated I can protect this fragile system, I'm willing to do my part. Why aren't you? If you're afraid of a vaccine that's been put through countless clinical trials, but are currently drinking soft drinks with who knows what in them and junk food with all kinds of artificial ingredients isn't that a little silly? I think it is.
You might not care what I think, but I will tell you this. When the day comes where you get your own sprained ankle or, insert other healthcare crisis here, and no bed is available to you or some poor overworked healthcare provider is too busy to get to you, I guarantee at that point you will care. So, take my advice, do your part. Get the vaccine. Wear a mask. If not for the love of healthcare workers, or the common good, at least do it to save a healthcare system that is being strained to the max right now and is on the verge of breaking. You will need that system to be there for you someday, so be your best self for it today.