Do we really want this pandemic to grow legs again?

All –

A lot of head scratching is being conducted by leaders across our country, and especially by those folks in the Healthcare and Education arenas, wondering just why there is so much mistrust of the COVID-19 vaccines, which are evidently protecting millions of vaccinated people from contracting the now robust Delta variant, while at the same time, there are hundreds of thousands of non-vaccinated citizens who ARE contracting the virus, and many are dying. I certainly understand the grave political differences that our country is besieged with, but the one thing that we stand united on is a desire to put this pandemic behind us. IT JUST SEEMS LIKE WE SHOULD GRAB ONTO THE MOST LOGICAL AVENUE WE KNOW TODAY OF SUPPRESSING THIS VIRUS, and band together in a quest for universal vaccination – with most of the evidence pointing towards its safety and effectiveness.

I would not have ended the week with this plea, had not an admired colleague of mine, Dr. Robert Kenagy, just written the following words for his community, basically saying the same thing quite eloquently. Please read this letter and contemplate strongly in your hearts, if you and/or others close to you are not yet vaccinated. And I realize some of you have excellent medical reasons for not doing so.

I appreciate your time in reading this material!!:

Thank you, Kevin Leeper, CEO
Morris County Hospital

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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,

Rob Kenagy, MD

President & CEO

785-354-6121 | www.stormontvail.org

600 N Washington, Council Grove, Kansas 66846
Phone: 620-767-6811 • Poison Control Center: 1-800-332-6633 or call 620-767-6811
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