Sean Hannity is Right: Take COVID-19 Seriously
On Monday night, Fox News host Sean Hannity surprised some of his viewers by urging his large audience to “please take COVID seriously.” He is right and my family’s recent ordeal with COVID-19 proves it.
Earlier this month, our 10-year-old daughter suddenly became ill with a fever that went as high as 103 degrees. She took a test for COVID-19, which came back positive. Her vast array of symptoms lasted for well over a week.
The situation got even scarier when the coronavirus spread to our 1-year-old daughter Natalie, who has Down syndrome. My wife and I were deeply concerned about her positive test, especially since Natalie had recently spent five days in the hospital with breathing problems due to a different virus.
Natalie would once again visit the hospital because of a persistent cough she developed while battling COVID-19. By the grace of God, her oxygen levels stayed strong and she was quickly sent home with medication and nebulizer treatment.
My wife and I both felt frightened and helpless while watching our children deal with coronavirus symptoms. It also shattered the myth that COVID-19 has almost no effect on kids. In Alabama, for instance, 22 children were reportedly hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday as the Delta variant continues to complicate efforts to fight this virus.
I felt a sense of bewilderment while watching cable news and scrolling through social media while my daughters were sick. Most of the partisan rhetoric surrounding this pandemic is petty and unnecessary. The bottom line is that COVID-19 has killed more than 600,000 Americans and people are still getting sick. As Christians who take pride in helping our neighbors, we cannot ignore these sobering facts.
The purpose of this column is not to advocate for lockdowns or any other policies that could potentially destroy people’s livelihoods. Medical privacy and government overreach during this pandemic are also legitimate concerns. At the same time, we can’t bury our heads in the sand and claim COVID-19 is over when my family’s experience proves that it’s not.
Other families have endured much more than us, especially with COVID-19 variants surging around the country. In fact, two people I deeply care about tested positive and fell ill with COVID-19 despite being fully inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine. One of the two had to visit the hospital.
Again, I am not calling for strict government mandates. I am calling for compassion and common sense. When nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered by terrorists almost twenty years ago, our country came together and rallied behind 9/11 victims and their families. We could still set aside our differences and unite as Americans for the rest of this deadly pandemic.
My two daughters are beautiful and innocent children who have done nothing but bring happiness and joy to this world. In the case of Natalie - a 1-year-old child with special needs who had just been hospitalized with low oxygen levels - I feared the worst once she contracted COVID-19 and started coughing. I am grateful to God and everyone who prayed for our daughters, including Stream founder James Robison and his wife Betty. We should all keep praying for COVID-19 victims and their families.
Sean Hannity pleading with viewers to take COVID-19 seriously shouldn’t be an outlier in conservative circles. It should be the norm. We can and should come together as Americans to keep each other safe without sacrificing our ability to earn a living or spend time with family and friends.
I am not a scientist or public health expert. I’m just a dad who watched his kids get sick. While I don’t have the solution to this pandemic, I firmly believe that if America finally unifies around defeating this deadly virus, COVID-19 doesn’t stand a chance.
Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is co-author of Three Wise Men, Brothers Forever, 8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on Twitter @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.