Like you I am beside myself with the increase in COVID-19 cases. This increase seems to dominate the unvaccinated across the country. Unfortunately, the new “D-Variant” is wreaking havoc on the nation, and this time it is impacting our youth. As of this writing there are over 2,000 children hospitalized, with an average of 11,000 new hospitalizations every week. The country is back to losing one thousand people every single day. The United States of America was first to develop an acceptable vaccine, which the Pfizer vaccine recently received FDA approval and certification. More people in the United States are now being vaccinated, than ever before.
One must wonder, why it has taken so long for many Americans to accept the vaccine, one reason is confusion and misinformation. Eight of the leading States, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Louisiana, make up 51% of all new COVID infections, and hospitalizations (Health and Human Services, 2021). Each of these States led by Republican Governors, who are attempting to outlaw public schools and other government-ran organizations mandating the wearing of mask and withholding public funding if such mandates are issued.
Most hospitalizations and new COVID-related deaths are the unvaccinated. My assessment is either people are completely intentionally ignorant, or uninformed about the COVID virus, regardless of the amount of information available and published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Whitehouse continues to issue daily press releases and host briefings from leading physicians who have dedicated their life to this industry.
When over 628,000 people have died from COVID, and over 37.7 million positive cases in the United States, one cannot ignore these facts. How can someone, whether educated or not, deny this reality? Not getting vaccinated must be a deliberate decision, a very purposeful choice. As you can imagine, I view anyone who decides not to get vaccinated to be uninformed or unintelligent.
I am aware of the historical injustices this country has exercised against African Americans, but this current virus cares little about your race, income bracket, religion, or ethnicity. Since many within our community are considered high-risk with high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and other relevant ailments, we appear to be more susceptible. My intent with this article is to report the facts, get your attention, acting by reaching out to those in your circle, your community, your family and friends, and ensure they are vaccinated. I recall the famous statement, “Life is hard, it’s harder if you are stupid!”
Now is not the time to be petty, misinformed, ignorant, or should we say stupid! All of us need to be intelligent on how we personally navigate our way through this pandemic. Most will conclude now since we have a legitimate vaccine, that is FDA approved, everyone should be vaccinated. I am begging and pleading with you to do your part by ensuring everyone living on your street, in your community, attending your church, frequenting your favorite establishment is vaccinated. This does not have to be hard, and as we move to a more open society everyone needs to do their part. I appreciate you and plan on spending more time with you in The Urban Voice, if only you get vaccinated.
African Americans have always been resilient, and dealing with this pandemic, we are proving we are even more resilient than ever before. I am excited about our future, and I want you to be as well. This is a time for us to get involved in other people’s lives, by showing that we care, and we are our brothers/sister keeper. Let’s prove to ourselves that we are neither ignorant nor unintelligent, by getting the vaccine, along with ensuring everyone in our community is also vaccinated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gerald currently works for the federal government in Washington D.C. After serving honorably for 27 years in the U.S. Air Force, he retired as a Colonel and relocated to Northern Virginia. He earned a doctorate degree in management from Colorado Technical University, a master’s degree from Troy State University, and a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University. His book, Striving for Perfection, Developing Professional Black Officers, is endorsed by President Barrack Obama, General Colin Powell, and several senior government and military officials. He serves as an Adjunct Professor for Colorado Technical University, graduate and undergraduate Criminal Justice and Homeland Security Departments. He served as Outreach Director for the historical film documentary For Love of Liberty, The Story of Black American Patriots, Eleventh Day Entertainment, Hollywood, California. Gerald is active on several international, national, community, and civic organizations designed to inspire and motivate young people to do their best and safeguard our national interest.