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COVID-19 Update (07.30.2021)

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Dear Community Partners,

We are at a crossroads in the COVID-19 pandemic that will define our lives and our community’s future.

While there is mounting frustration among us – those who believe in or who dispel the value of the vaccines – we individually must listen to our conscience as a guide. As you consider the advice you got at the feed store or from your neighbor or from your social media accounts, please give weight to the science and experience of hundreds of millions of people across America and billions of people across the world. The vaccines are SAFE and EFFECTIVE! This is now your decision about whether you value more your hesitancy, your individual rights above your care about the health and well-being of those around you. Your loved ones. Your friends.

Hospitals across the country are becoming overwhelmed again with COVID-19 patients – including some close to home. Stormont Vail is stretching our team many days to care for this increased patient volume, and at times we are unable to take transfer patients with COVID-19 infections or other medical reasons.

Healthcare teams are resilient and are working at the limits of fatigue.  Our team is tired, tired of the preventable illness and death.

We have seen more patients die in the past year than during any time in our memory. Some die from COVID-19. Others from medical conditions that gained footing when the pandemic stalled their ability to access care.

Lately we have seen younger and generally sicker COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Most of those who need intensive care beds are unvaccinated. This is troubling to our team members. Some of these critical patients now plead for others to get the vaccine, but for them it is too late.

While we all hoped that the pandemic was ending earlier this summer, the surge of the delta variant coupled with low vaccination rates and relaxation of pandemic protocols (like facemasks) has developed into deadly virus hotspots. Some of these are too close.

Now is the time to use our knowledge of the past year and move past the pandemic.

Get the vaccine for your children and grandchildren, your aging parents, your immunocompromised family members, your fellow parishioners, your soccer teammates, your neighbors and friends.

Why are we letting vaccine hesitancy become a greater challenge than ending this pandemic?

We together,
Robert Kenagy, MD

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