Don’t Die Needlessly

During the years I volunteered at the Door of Hope, I knew several guests who had been kicked out of the house after being diagnosed with AIDS. All too often the family members did this—kicked out their loved ones—because their pastor told them the loved one had committed a sin. They were sinful. Someone to be shamed. Disowned. Kicked out.

The family acted this way because someone they trusted told them it was their Christian duty to shun their loved one. Sometimes the family members were heartbroken to do so. But God wanted this done, their pastor told them.

Of course, I grieved for the mistreated Door of Hope guests. But my heart also broke for the family members. To sever those ties, turn their backs, not because the love wasn’t there, but because an authority figure told them it was the right thing to do.

I’m feeling the same way about unvaccinated people dying from COVID.

In Mississippi according to the Department of Health, young people are dying of COVID. “Of 11 deaths Wednesday, [State Health Officer] Dobbs said, 10 were in unvaccinated individuals, including three people in their 30s.”

Three of ten were in their 30s. All unvaccinated.

Why would young people in their 30s be walking around unvaccinated? Maybe they’d made an appointment but got sick before they could get the shot. Or they heard the shot would make them sick and simply couldn’t afford to miss work. Maybe they were deathly afraid of needles. Or didn’t trust the vaccine process.

I can’t ignore another very real possibility: those who died had been listening to authority figures tell them COVID is not a threat. No big deal, no worse than the flu. The scientists are wrong. They’re exaggerating the numbers. Masks are stupid. Vaccines are dangerous. Don’t wear a mask and don’t get vaccinated. And particularly you, if you’re young—you don’t have to worry about COVID.

No, they didn’t. Until they died from COVID.

I don’t know.

But I know this. Whatever the reason, they didn’t have to die. Again, the State Health Officer: “As we go forward, every death will be an additional tragedy because it was almost certainly avoidable.”

Young people who could have been vaccinated are dead from COVID. And that breaks my heart.

COVID-19, Grief during COVID-19, vaccinations, young people and COVID

Comments (6)

  • Another in your increasing of fine, pointed essays on current issues. But you don’t name the authority figures such as Tate Reeves, the governor.of Mississippi, who is directly responsible for the cavalier attitude now prevalent among young people in that state. And the governor is following the lead of Trump who clearly did not care about the deaths of 600,000 Americans.
    So why is it that so many people follow.these doctors of death?

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Honestly, I thought about that, Joe, but where to stop? It’s a cloud of misinformation and politicization that extends over the entire country. I do blame those who seized on this issue as a chance to make political gains (how else did a disease become a political dividing point?), but they are legion.

  • My niece and her husband and my nephew won’t get vaccinated. They just “don’t see the need.” No matter what anyone says. They are young and invincible.

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      Oh, Luanne. I have a couple of young relatives I’m afraid to ask about their status because I think they, too, would be in the ‘invincible’ category. The Department of Health quotes were in the context of the Delta plus variant. Mississippi is bracing for terrible impacts among the unvaccinated here from that strain. ):

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