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Editoral: Careful, dear readers, be careful out there

This is a bad time to be in an accident, a bad time to have a heart attack. Posh, you may say, “There is no better or worse time for tragedy to strike.” 

You would be wrong. 

Local hospitals — regional hospitals for that matter — were brimming over, and only now show any sign that an extra bed or two are available. Earlier this month there  there was not a single ICU bed available in the county, according to a data set compiled by the New York Times from government records. This week, local hospitals remain strained. 

It’s because of COVID, of course. The Delta mutation of COVID is racing through this country – and this county.

Yes, but that’s just how things are, you might say. No one could have done anything abou tit. 

You would be wrong.

Our governor Greg Abbott at one point in his career could have been considered more moderate. But, with this pandemic on the line, he has chosen to respond to politics. He and others at the top levels of Texas government have gone after school districts which chose to implement mask mandates. He has chosen to undermine the people who are best trained to address this pandemic. We speak not of effete liberal experts on the East Coast, but of the doctors and virologists who live right here in Texas, who live among us, who are calling all of us to get vaccinated.

Abbott is focused more on restricting voters and abortion and other bugaboos during these special sessions of the Legislature. Instead, he should be looking at the real threat – COVID-19.

The data speaks to what Abbott is doing. Our state lags behind others in fighting the disease. Our vaccination rates are far below the national average, and thus our ICUs remain full. 

The hospitals are full — mostly from unvaccinated people, and as a number of astute staticians have pointed out, the numbers are more revealing than they at first seem, since most of the most vulnerable are more likely to be vaccinated. Thus, the few vaccinated people in hospitals are more likely to be people with underlying conditions and much older, whereas the unvaccinated are much more likely to be seriously stricken at any age. 

You might say this is simply individual choice, that you are making personal decisions about risk management or that is is your personal freedom.

You would be wrong. 

When the disease careens out of control, as it does now, we are all affected — vaccinated and un. Because it is not a good time to have an accident, dear reader, not a good time at all. 

Be careful out there. 

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