Last year, I found myself doing two things that were completely out of character: procrastinating and denying responsibility for my actions.

If I did not get the grocery shopping done, well that was certainly not my fault. There were people out there shopping who refused to wear a mask and possibly infecting anyone who encountered them.

And if the laundry baskets got a little more full than usual, well I was not to blame. We were not going out of the house much anyway so we could wear whatever was clean that day. No biggie.

Those extra pounds we put on were a direct result of the anxiety we were feeling over the possibility that maybe we could accidently contract the virus.

Anita McGill is a former publisher of The Sentinel. She can be reached by email at anitamcgill99@gmail.com.

No question about it. It was not our fault and there was no rush to accomplish much.

Fast forward a year and we were told that things were starting to get back to normal.

Now, usually I am a very skeptical person who questions anything I am told no matter the source. But, for once, I wanted to believe reports that the disruption to our lives was fading, and things would improve.

Instead of this big turnaround we were expecting, some things are still sideways in the road.

Last week I took my daughter to the mall to purchase some clothes. Because she is between sizes, it is necessary for her to try them on. Otherwise, we will be purchasing and returning til the cows come home. After making several selections, we searched in every corner of the top floor of Belk’s. They had one dressing room open. Women, who were as frustrated as me, were lined up to try on their selections. There was a big sign informing us that due to the pandemic, only one dressing room was open. As I looked around, I saw the problem. They only had three people working the whole top floor. Where were the workers?

A loved one had to wait for six weeks to get test results. The excuse for the delay? COVID. Apparently, some healthcare workers are refusing to get vaccinated or come to work.

A recent trip to the orthodontist for a brace adjustment ended in frustration. Since they prefer only one person at a time go in, I waited in the car. They have a big sign on the door clearly stating, “mask required for entry.” A car pulls up beside me and a woman and her three children without a mask among them walks up to the door, reads the sign and proceed to enter. No respect for safety.

Just try calling customer service somewhere. Here is what you get. “Sorry to keep you on hold, but call volumes are higher due to the pandemic.” Does that mean COVID patients are making calls while they are sick?

Do not even plan on getting anything you ordered on time. Otherwise, this is the story. “Your parcel may be delayed, due to COVID restrictions.” If we are going to be restricted from receiving, then we should be restricted from ordering.

A recent article about how America is experiencing an enormous surge in violent crime was concerning. Experts are saying because we lived through such a disorienting event, it has caused folks to become violent. Wonder how that defense will work in court?

I kept asking myself why we are still in this COVID-19 fog.

And then I find out President Biden’s Independence Day goal of having 70 percent of Americans vaccinated has turned into a fireworks dud.

It came as no surprise to me that Alabama is not doing their part.

Alabama currently has the second-lowest vaccination rate at 37 percent, ahead only of Mississippi, of course, in the United States. Last week six Alabama counties, Coffee, Geneva, Houston, Jackson, Monroe and Pike were listed as counties at “very high risk” for the spreading of COVID-19.

The risk categories are determined primarily by the number of new COVID cases per day.

Jackson County’s vaccination rate is a pitiful 29 percent. That means almost three fourths of our friends and neighbors have decided to take their chances. All I can say is if they are feeling that lucky, maybe they should buy a lottery ticket. Of course, they will have to drive to Tennessee or Georgia for it.

If Alabamians continue to refuse to get vaccinated, we can expect resurgences of the coronavirus this fall and new mandates.

According to experts, there are a variety of reason people are not getting vaccinated. Most of them are based on unsubstantiated fears or political propaganda.

Whatever the reason, a change in perspective is needed for these folks because the rest of us are ready to move on.

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