OUR OPINION: Let’s vaccinate, mask up NOW

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With nationwide COVID infections on the rise (100,000-plus new cases a day), deaths in the St. Louis region growing worse every week, and Missouri leading the nation in both categories, the soaring, deadly COVID rate is complicated by a second crisis: vaccine and masking hesitancy.

The FACTS are clear:

  • Vaccines are working to first, protect you from COVID infection and second, if you are vaccinated and still get infected, the resulting illness is minimal and not life threatening.
  • Masking works to prevent the spread. And with less than half the population vaccinated, anyone can be a carrier and spreader. As the contagion is water droplet spread, masking helps prevent that spread.

While America has enough vaccines to protect everyone, we have the highest vaccine hesitance or refusal rate in the world except for Russia.

THE NEGATIVE ARGUMENTS
We’ve heard the arguments against vaccinations: “I’m always healthy, so I don’t need it.” “The vaccine doesn’t work.” “The government is putting microchips in it to track us.”

These are all not true, as the science has already proven. Yet some media, and tens of thousands on social media, continue to spread this fake information, and that reinforces the doubters even more.

OK, you don’t believe it, but consider this: if you become a spreader, how are you going to respond the rest of your life if you give COVID to your spouse, your child, a family member, an aging parent…and they die?

Come on brothers and sisters, we are facing a deadly disease that is showing resistance to being eliminated as it mutates. The only way to eradicate it, or at least get it under control, is to GET VACCINATED and WEAR A MASK.

COURAGEOUS DECISIONS
St. Louis City Mayor Tishaura Jones and County Executive Sam Page took courageous steps to reinstate mask mandates, not to show their “power” but at the insistence of their medical professionals, who see the growing disaster if we don’t act NOW to slow the spread.

Tragically, last week, the St. Louis County Council acted to derail the County’s common-sense approach so that politicians, playing to their constituencies, could garner “Atta boys.” While they voted to override Page’s medically driven mask mandate, it temporarily remains in place, probably until a court challenge.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen didn’t play that deadly game and accepted the mayor’s edicts for the overall welfare of their citizens. It’s a shame some County politicians didn’t show the same wisdom or concern for their constituents.

NO ONE LIKES IT, BUT…
Look, no one likes to get stuck and it’s a pain-in-the-ass to wear masks. But rather that slight discomfort than having to spend weeks in a hospital on life support or worse, attend the funeral of a love one.

We beat polio by vaccinating. We beat the deadly flu by vaccinating. Let’s do the same for COVID. Your life, or that of a child, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a friend, a co-worker could depend on it.

An editorial in the New York Times said it best: “The unvaccinated will set the country on fire over and over again.”

Vaccinate. Wear a mask. It’s the common-sense thing to do, for yourself, for everyone you love and respect.

JUST DO IT!

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