Reed: Vaccination against COVID-19 essential to life care planning

Sandra W. Reed
Special to the Reporter

This is a true story.

My first cousin, June, suffered a medical condition that attacked her muscles, making it difficult for her to get around. When the COVID pandemic hit the spring of 2020, she made the decision to stay in her apartment. She used curbside service to get her groceries, did all other shopping online. She ate all her meals at home and admitted no visitors.

Sandra Reed

She continued this regimen until February 2021, when the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines became available. Her brother and I urged her to get vaccinated, but June resisted, insisting that vaccination wasn’t necessary for her since she never went where she could be exposed.

Then in March of this year, June somehow contracted pneumonia and had to be hospitalized. She recovered from the illness and was sent to a rehabilitation center to recover physical strength from being bedridden for a week. Three days after she entered rehab, June contracted COVID-19. She was moved to ICU, where she was eventually placed on a ventilator. Three days later, she died.

Headlines reveal that Texas and Florida are responsible for one-third of the new COVID-19 cases. With the upsurge in cases, due primarily to the delta variant with its increased transmissibility, it is imperative that everyone who is eligible to be vaccinated get the injection. Especially vulnerable are those 65 or older or those with an underlying medical condition that weakens the immune system or makes them more susceptible to hospitalization and death.

Reporting shows that in most locations approximately 98% of the hospitalizations for COVID-19 are occurring with unvaccinated patients. That means for most people hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 is preventable. This shows that the vaccines are working and that not getting the inoculation is more dangerous than any hazard associated with the vaccine.

In today’s environment, with the delta variant of the COVID virus spreading rapidly, it is not enough to do the life care planning of executing wills, statutory durable powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney and medical directives. So these planning documents don’t have to be used prematurely, add this essential tool: GET THE VACCINE.

Sandra W. Reed practices Elder Law in Somervell County, handling probating of estates, drafting of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and deeds as well as estate and Medicaid planning.  She lives on beautiful Chalk Mountain and can be reached at 254.797.0211; 817.946.2809 or at sreed@kbzlaw.com.