This Mother’s Day surely is different from last year for a lot of people. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many families to forgo traditional outings with their mothers due to restaurant and other business closures. Now most of those businesses — at least, those that weren’t driven into insolvency by the inactivity — have reopened, many families have been vaccinated against the coronavirus and their lives are returning to some semblance of normalcy.
For some families, however, this day is especially poignant. Thousands lost their mothers or other loved ones to the viral disease and others, due to lack of immunity or other factors, still can’t meet face-to-face with their mothers.
Some people have told interviewers that they wish Mother’s Day didn’t even happen this year, as their sudden loss remains too painful. And we can only imagine the feelings of those who insisted that the pandemic was nothing more than a hoax, only to see their mother succumb to the illness, alone and helpless in a quarantined hospital room.
Restrictions brought on by the virus can be harsh reminders of many of the freedoms we take for granted, for many of life’s changes that catch many of us unprepared. Even before the pandemic, many people who have just lost their mother or another loved one have confessed that they just assumed Mom would always be there.
Fortunately, the situation is improving for many of us. While two-thirds of people in the Rio Grande Valley, like the rest of the United States, still haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19, pandemic conditions have improved. Reports of new cases and deaths continue every day, but the numbers are falling.
Of course, those trends won’t continue on their own — we have to make them happen.
Luckily, many areas now have enough vaccines to meet the demand; many people no longer have to search for available vaccines, register an appointment and wait in long lines for their shots. Some can even find walk-in vaccination locations where the process will take just a few minutes.
Obviously, vaccination remains important, and older people remain most vulnerable to the potentially deadly effects of the virus. So if Mom still needs to be vaccinated, the best Mother’s Day president to give this year might be to take her to the nearest vaccination site to get her shot. And of course, sons and daughters who still haven’t gotten theirs should join them.
Some people might be concerned about reports that some people have experienced discomfort after vaccination, and they hope the falling numbers reduce the need to get the shot. The rarity and short duration of that discomfort, and the severity of the disease itself, should erase such doubts. People who have such concerns should talk to their doctors or other health professionals to discuss their individual cases and personal medical history that could affect the decision.
We hope that a year from now, COVID-19 will be just a bitter memory for most of us. To make that happen, however, we all must do our part.
Let’s do it for our mothers.