Although we mention cancer in the title, there are many conditions which may damage or impair the immune system. All are important and carry significance. With regard to our own relative health, at times we forget that not everyone has it as good as we do. So many of us walk around taking our health for granted. It is granted that we will be able to walk up the stairs to get into the house. It is granted that we will be able to go to that meeting or celebrate with family this Christmas. It is granted that we will be able to enjoy a hot meal after work, maybe a nice bowl of peanut soup, fried fish and veggie dumpling. Or how about this one….it is granted that once these mask restrictions get lifted, we can all just relax.
"We are the faithful kids and hardworking adults who carry with us the knowledge that there is someone back at home who is absolutely counting on us to keep that mask on."
This is a post to call upon our better angels at a time when many of us are very tired, frustrated and feeling overwhelmed. All over the world, including in our beloved African Diaspora, there are still people who need our help. They still need us to stay vigilant. Caring for someone with a compromised and/or weakened immune system means that you must maintain the same high level of awareness and diligence in fighting the spread of Covid19 as well as other illnesses, even when mask wearing is "recommended". Because regardless of what the little paper flyer on the window says, there is no, “masks recommended” option for the cancer patients or their caretakers and household members.
Let us not forget those people that have been closed off from the world because of an illness that made them even more vulnerable to this horrible virus than we are. The lift of the mask mandate did not lift breast cancer - nor did it lift prostate cancer, HIV/AIDS, leukemia or any other illness which weakens the immune system. In our dash for freedom from mandates we cannot become indifferent to those suffering more than we are. For in doing so we become moral monsters, oblivious to the conditions of our fellow community members. What we are saying is "that's your problem, not mine - that's your sick kid or your ailing father, not mine."
Let us not forget their sons and daughters who have, for almost two years, been completely terrified at the prospect of their mom, dad or grandparents having to battle Chemotherapy and COVID19. We are the faithful kids and hardworking adults who carry with us the knowledge that there is someone back at home who is absolutely counting on us to keep that mask on - recommended or not. For their lives, there are many among us who are solely dependent upon our word that we kept, in the highest fidelity, the practice of wearing PPE.
We need your help in our mission and duty to help others - globally and also right in our own neighborhoods and homes. Please continue to be strong. Continue to be patient. Please wear your mask and if you can, please get vaccinated.