Letter to the Editor

Houston Chronicle, August 18th, 2021

In the name of freedom

Covid stay at home slippers

Fetch your slippers and stay at home

Last week I ventured out “into the world” for a bone density test that I had postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus. I made a few stops on my way home: Texas' H-E-B grocery and, for a bit of old-time shopping delight, Nordstrom Rack. There I found a pair of pink faux-fur slippers – frivolous yet inexpensive. As the Covid-19 positivity rate infections in Houston was on a sharp rise, I had an inkling this would be my last trip out into public for awhile, so I dubbed the new slippers my “Covid stay-at-home” slippers.

Actually, the slippers signify my acceptance that the virus and its Delta variant are winning and I attribute this backward slide to the people – U.S. Citizens and government officials - who have decided not to become part of the solution – vaccines, masks and social distancing. In the name of freedom, you have stripped me of mine and put all of us in harm's way.

Am I angry? You betcha. Am I fearful? You betcha. Are we really in a global public health crisis? You betcha.

As of today, August 14, 2021, death counts are as follows per Google News: 4,347,193 (worldwide); 621,000 (United States); 54,353 (Texas).

So I return to the lifestyle I adopted in March 2020 – limited and only necessary outings, curbside grocery pickup, Zoom yoga and recovery meetings, postponed medical appointments, no travel, walks in the neighborhood, and entertainment courtesy of the Internet, live-streaming, Sling and The New York Times. My freelance work continues – remotely. I'm back to seeing my son John and his dog Lou, an adorable German Shepherd, only on my front porch and in my backyard as my son works in an office three days out of five. One of his work colleagues began working from home last week due to the virus.

This self-imposed shutdown gives me time to plan my exit from this “great” state of Texas, whose leaders – Good 'Ole Boys in Suits - don't seem to give a damn about whether its residents live or die. (My pink slippers will hardly keep my feet warm in the event of another failure of the Texas Power Grid - more on that at a later date.)

And now Texas Governor Greg Abbott is knowingly putting our children's lives at risk. I believe masks are the most significant item on a school supply list for 2021. I'm holding my breath and praying as hard as I can for our youngest souls.

I encourage all who read this to pull out your slippers no matter how shod, and join me in limiting your goings-on – to protect you, me, us - and the children.

Vaccines, masks, social distancing – and slippers!

(Ms.) Kyle W. Fake Houston, Texas August 14, 2021

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