Calhoun Times

Make a resolution with me?

- Cat Webb is a reporter at the Calhoun Times and may be reached at CWebb@CalhounTim­es. com or 706-629-2231, Ext. 6005.

Every so often, when I turn out a pandemic update, I get to feeling a bit like that weird person on the street corner trying to tell you all it’s the end of the world.

Let me clarify my message: it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t have to keep being a big deal. We can fix the situation we’re in.

I don’t really do New Years resolution­s, but I think I’d be glad to make an exception, if you’d all like to make one with me: do our part so we can stop this mess and get on with our lives.

I know you’re all sick of this. Believe it or not, I am too. I want nothing more than to be able to throw away my masks and just walk into a Walmart without thinking twice.

I’ve been elbows-deep in this thing since the summer of 2020, and I’m bonedead exhausted.

Before I worked at the Calhoun Times, I spent some time contact tracing and monitoring for the state of Tennessee.

To say that job was draining would be like saying the Sahara is a little sandy… or that Mike Tenney only kinda likes the Browns. Either analogy works.

It was tiring work, and not all that rewarding, either, because we just couldn’t get caught up, let alone ahead of the virus. I ended my day with a sore throat and a distinct urge to crawl into bed and weep.

I could talk to 20 or so cases a day. If I was contact monitoring rather than tracing, it could be more because the calls were shorter.

Sure, it was frustratin­g because of people who refused to follow public health guidelines or those who were downright cruel to me, but a lot of the time it was just sad.

There was one case who hadn’t seen their child in two weeks because they were preparing for chemo. A family member brought them food one day, and that was that — they got COVID.

Two weeks of preparatio­n down the drain; 10 days of isolation followed, and then they would have to try to start chemo. They were going to miss Christmas with their baby because someone they trusted got them sick.

Another case lay on their couch, begging for me to reach out to the health department about the strained ER they had visited, where they had sat in the cold waiting for treatment that would not, could not, come. That person was afraid of dying on their couch in front of their children.

I told them that my boss was a good, kind person and that she would do her best to help.

I don’t need good people, the patient had told me. I need a bulldog.

I logged off, and I didn’t sleep that night. How do you deal with that level of abject human misery? Well, you don’t.

I still hear their voices, and when I write my COVID updates, I do so in hopes that maybe I can at least do one small thing, dig in my heels, and join the long line of folks who are trying to stop this thing. I don’t think I’m quite the bulldog, but I’d like to be.

More importantl­y: I can’t shut up about COVID until we win the war against it. And if there’s one thing I want for us as a community to resolve to do this year, that’s what it is.

So, please, help shut me up already. For your sake and mine, and for the love of your state, your country, and your neighbors, go get your shot.

Visit vaccinefin­ to find available vaccines near you.

 ?? ?? Cat Webb
Cat Webb

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