It’s Time to Roll Up Our Sleeves

Sep 22, 2021

Dear fellow community members and colleagues,

While the impact of the pandemic on our lives, our activities, and our freedom is obvious, it seems that there is an aspect that could be discussed more often: that we can each do our part in preventing others, as well as ourselves, from contracting COVID-19.

I propose this idea because COVID-19 is a community problem that does not stop with the individual who it has infected. It happens accidentally: nobody wants to infect loved ones or members of their community. But it spreads quickly and easily – in fact, the average person with the delta variant infects five to seven other people.

It’s also easy to prevent – the vaccine is proven highly effective at stopping the virus and variants, especially when combined with wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands frequently – yet, our hospitals are seeing the highest volumes of COVID-19 patients that we ever have.

This preventable surge impacts everything we do, which can affect you and loved ones in a time of need. Car crashes, strokes, heart attacks, etc. happen as they always have, but now our hospitals have less space for these patients because of the increase in COVID-19 patients.

Moreover, the most common denominator among our COVID-19 patients is that they are unvaccinated.

Sadly, some of them will die because there is no cure. Others will have lung damage that will stay with them for life. The tragedy is that this situation is preventable.  

There are many disagreements in our world, but regardless of our beliefs, suspicions or even our cultural differences, we can all agree that we want life to return to normal.

Without a doubt, the quickest way for that to happen is for all eligible people to get vaccinated. It’s free, it’s easy and protects the vulnerable. It’s so highly effective that our ER doctors were the first to line up for the vaccine last year, well before any discussion of mandates.

This is real – and this is the worst that we have seen so far. Therefore, I implore all of us as a community to roll up our sleeves, get vaccinated, and do what is necessary to end this pandemic.

We can do it. Together. As a community built on care.


Mark Lisa
CEO, Tenet Health Central Coast