Jack Perkins

Fort Gibson

It was an experience I will never forget, spending two weeks in Africa. I met many grandparents raising their grandchildren. I had dinner with a man who was the only living of eight siblings. No one asked how they died. Ministers were overwhelmed with funerals.

No one wanted to accept it, they would not talk about it, and others voiced conspiracy theories. Medicine men blamed the “thin man disease” on the U.S., saying the powdery substance in condoms was the cause of the disease. The government attempted to downplay the pandemic. 

However, a Zambabwean doctor said, “It is quite clear to those who work in hospitals that there is a serious epidemic of AIDS in Zimbabwe and the numbers infected are growing at an alarming rate. However, the Minister of Health seems to be actively discouraging publicity of the fact and research.” NY Times, 1989

It is a very surreal experience when relatives and friends begin to die, especially when they refused to become vaccinated. COVID is real, precautionary measures need to be followed. Sadly politicians, ministers, and community medical novices are taking the same approach to COVID as many in Zimbabwe.

Let’s cut to the chase. We need to swallow our ego, practice humility, and get vaccinated and take other precautionary measures. What do you have to lose? What do you, your family, your friends, and our communities have to gain? As Oklahoma is seeing a dramatic rise in COVID cases, I choose to do my part!  

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