I a bit of the Delta blues. While it never went away, there has been a semi-soft reprieve from the ubiquitous talk about COVID-19 for some Texans. For me, this period began as soon as the vaccines were open to everyone and the need for masks by the vaccinated was deemed unnecessary. My husband and I traveled. We went to weddings. We saw relatives on July 4th that we hadn’t seen for over a year. Last weekend I even held babies after two quick COVID tests proved I wasn’t positive.
But now I have the Delta blues. This Delta variant is quite frankly different from the previous COVID-19. I’m not complaining though because for many there has been no reprieve from COVID. There are many that deal with a real thing called long-haul COVID. Long-haul COVID presents with many serious lung and heart problems that could be permanent. Some still struggle with the bizarre and often quite serious aftermath of COVID, which, without being life threatening, is debilitating. These include chronic fatigue, brain fog, and flu-like pain. The strangest for me are the people who exhibited very mild COVID symptoms when they tested positive, but subsequently developed serious side effects.
I’m talking about people I know personally who have been affected by COVID – the first round and now the Delta variant or the second wave. People who are dear to me. My brother-in-law died of COVID. I currently have a family member who is suffering from long-range COVID-19 and possible heart damage. I have friends who currently have a seriously ill child. There are several children and one teenager that I know who were recently hospitalized with COVID-19.
I have friends who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. I have friends who believe COVID-19 is 100% real and wear a mask, but who will not get the vaccine. I have family members who are shocked by those who don’t get the vaccine and some who are shocked by those who do.
I have young parents who are nurses in hospitals who have seen literally hundreds of deaths from COVID-19. It is not an easy death. It’s brutal. My young parents went COVID-free for the worst without getting vaccinated, but were loaded with PPE. They told me there was a typical patient type for the majority of the first round of COVID-19. This new cycle coming to the ICU is not so typical. They see more young people and under 35 without an underlying condition who are severely affected.
Intensive care beds across the state are filling up. As of Tuesday, in Austin, there are only three intensive care beds left for the capital of Texas, populated by 2.3 million people. Governor Abbott on Monday released new measures to respond to the spread of COVID-19:
• Bring additional medical staff to staff hospitals • Develop antibody infusion centers to avoid hospitalizations of people with COVID
• Facilitate vaccination
Schools are resuming. I know parents are delighted that their children are starting a near-normal school year compared to the last. But I can also imagine for many that there are said and unsaid fears. There are so many unknowns.
I strongly believe in medical doctors. Not so much in the pharmaceutical companies. I want to trust the government, but they make it really, really difficult. I’m not that scared of COVID for me, but I’m taking precautions. I am more concerned about my loved ones. I am vaccinated. My family is vaccinated. I am still a great hand washer. I gladly wear my mask when necessary.
The Pleasanton Express is making our first COVID-19 history update in months due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers locally and in Texas. We are not alarmists. We report facts as we know them from reporting sources that are approved to provide information. My prayers are that the numbers do not increase at the start of the school year. The Pleasanton Emergency Management Office is hosting a free vaccination clinic on Monday, August 16 at the Pleasanton Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The choice is yours.
NOEL WILKERSON HOLMES is the publisher and editor of the Pleasanton Express. You can reach her at [email protected]