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Let’s keep ourselves, families, neighbors safe

The Lakeville Journal Editorial

Let’s be real about this: The fact that so many public spaces and cultural venues have been able to open, or reopen, and have at least some version of a normal season has given us reason for celebration this summer. But as the delta variant of COVID-19 has become more and more of a factor in the newly increased spread of the coronavirus, there is also reason to question whether openness is going to continue to be the best approach to social interaction. This is the case especially, but not exclusively, where vaccination rates are low.

Part of the problem, even in Connecticut, where our vaccination rate — according to www.ct.gov, it is now around 60% — is that any residents who aren’t vaccinated can initiate a renewed hot spot of COVID. (For the current situation in the Northwest Corner towns, especially the medical facilities, see the article by Debra Aleksinas in this week’s Lakeville Journal; and see Dr. Richard Kessin’s columns on COVID at www.tricornernews.com and the next page for even more insight.) 

For some perspective, www.ct.gov has percentage rates for those who are fully vaccinated, town by town, as follows, as of Aug. 5: Canaan/Falls Village, 94%; Cornwall, 75%; Kent, 76%; North Canaan, 52%; Salisbury, 83%; Sharon, 62%; Torrington, 57%. 

Those who aren’t vaccinated in this state by this time should be able to find a relatively simple way to fix that (except, of course, those children under the age of 12, who cannot receive the vaccines and are vulnerable). When the COVID-19 vaccines were first made available to the public, there was some confusion and difficulty with signing up for appointments and figuring out the best approach to being inoculated. But now, it’s quite easy to find access to vaccines, at no cost and even, in some areas, with bonus rewards. Walgreen’s in North Canaan has an open and helpful approach in serving its customers, as does CVS in Millerton, N.Y. There have been multiple clinics open to all. So, are all those who aren’t yet vaccinated keeping away from the needles by choice? 

If so, now is the time to have the discussion about the reasons to take the step and be vaccinated. There are any number of misinformed and untrue statements about vaccination circulating online and on right-wing cable news channels (which Fox News finally backed off from and encouraged its community to get the shot.) For those who are afraid of the rumors associating multiple serious side effects, including infertility, with COVID vaccines (and really all vaccines, but let’s focus on the worldwide pandemic here), it is worthwhile to compare the data of actual recorded side effects from being vaccinated with the repercussions from having the disease itself, COVID-19 and any of its variants. No contest. 

The speed with which the scientific community released the vaccines puts some people off; yet, much research had already gone into mRNA vaccines over decades leading to their feasibility in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Look it up. 

Without vaccines having been developed in the face of this pandemic, the planet’s human species would look very different right now, decimated even worse than it has been by a rampant coronavirus. Those who are adamant about remaining unvaccinated should not depend on their neighbors who took the vaccine to protect them and their families; they should protect themselves, and therefore those around them.

Get the vaccine. 

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