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Photo courtesy of Kimberly McHale

As I drop off my 9-year-old son at school, I am filled with worry more than excitement. He is one of the few kids wearing a mask in his school, where even the teachers are not. He is too young to be vaccinated, and he is surrounded by others who are in a similar situation.

Now that the delta variant of COVID is here, it feels like everyone wants to pretend it’s not happening. Many Texans still refuse to get vaccinated or wear masks. Even though many of those same people eventually get sick and fill our hospitals. The hardest part is seeing the kids get COVID when their parents made that choice for them.

Last year I fought for my son to be safe. This year I am hesitant because I feel that speaking up will put a target on my son. I don’t want that for him because he is already standing out for wearing a mask and is also having to get used to being back in regular school.

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But the truth is that while we all fight, people keep getting sick. Those who are afraid of vaccines wish they had gotten them too late. It is not about politics. It is about science. I feel if you can trust doctors and hospitals to save you from COVID, then you can also trust that the vaccines are safe and worth getting.

All these thoughts race through my mind as I walk back to my car. I look up to see a rainbow after the storm. It reminds me that there can be something beautiful after darkness. We just need to practice empathy and do our part to help others who cannot help themselves.

We do that by wearing our masks and getting vaccinated.

 

Kimberly McHale

Fort Worth

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