The Naked Truth/Jamala Rogers

Jamala RogersColor

Why We Can’t Get a Handle on COVID-19

Once again we are seeing surges in COVID-19 cases across the country. These surges reflect the failure of this country’s leaders to have implemented a full-scale education program at the onset of the pandemic. Tracking by the Center for Disease Control now pinpoints infection increases in counties and cities where the vaccination rate is lower than 40 percent.

Recently Reverend James Altman was removed from his parish in La Crosse, Wisconsin by Bishop Patrick Callahan. The rogue priest not only ignored COVID-19 protocols, but he also publicly attacked the messengers of science. Quiet attempts were made internally to bring him back to reality and to take seriously his role in a deadly pandemic.

For over a year, the priest ranted about the pandemic conspiracy by left-wing fascists. That would be the Democrats. His message is that you cannot be a Catholic and a Democrat. After describing pandemic restrictions as “Nazi-esque’, the archdiocese was left with no choice but to strip him of his superpowers.

Most troubling to me is that when Altman was first asked to resign, his supporters raised $720,000 for his cause. This means he was successful in convincing some people that the pandemic is not real. This level of unshakable support for a proven racist, homophobic, sexist defiant man of the cloth has contributed to our inability to implement a coordinated response to COVID-19 and its variants.

From the start, the pandemic was politicized and weaponized thanks to the wicked efforts of the un-president, Donald J Trump. He could not do this on his own. He had a legion of dangerous, like-minded drones carrying the conspiratorial messages. They hailed from the arenas of government, business, medicine, science, and education.

There was a glimmer of hope that this country was turning the corner on the pandemic. Rates of infection, along with deaths, had decreased. Restrictions were lifted, opening up the freedom to visit public places and to travel. Now we must recalibrate.

I believe the same people who refuse to wear masks, social distance and to adhere to any of the other COVID-19 precautions are the same ones who are refusing to get the vaccination. Just like their refusal opened the rest of us to risks, the same applies to their refusal to vaccinate.

This is why a massive, science-based education campaign could’ve made a difference. Complying with pandemic guidelines are not about your individual rights and freedoms. It’s about what’s good for public welfare in a world where our lives are interconnected, whether we like it or not and whether we recognize it or not.

Believe me, I understand the mistrust of the government and its policies. My people have definitely been victims of them, especially in the medical field. But ultimately I had to rely on my own critical thinking skills and to fully understand my role as an influencer.

I informally surveyed people who have taken the vaccination as to any side effects, talked to health professionals and did a whole lotta reading. I made an informed decision to get the vaccination. I encourage others to use a similar process to make decisions for them and their families.

This pandemic will drag on unnecessarily because of the likes of Rev. Altman and others who have chosen to put ideology over public safety. COVID-19 infections and deaths are merely collateral damage in their cultural wars.

I will continue to do my part as a responsible, caring human being and comply with other pandemic guidelines rooted in science. And oh yes, in spite of being fully vaccinated, I will definitely continue to wear my mask.