Thwarting vaccine efforts

Biologically speaking, viruses are not alive. They don’t need to be alive to harm us. The microscopic parasites thrive in the gray area of the undead and wreak havoc on the living by hijacking our cells to replicate.

This is the case with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the disease that has hijacked our world and caused civilization to grind to a near halt.

Humankind has been studying viruses since the 1890s. We know a great deal about how they operate and how to control them.

This is why it is mind-blowing that so many state and national lawmakers work so egregiously to impede efforts to combat the virus.

Even more disturbing is the fact that they do so as the Delta variant proves to be more than 225 percent more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain.

There are those who downplay the seriousness of these times by reinforcing resentment of masks and unfounded fears of vaccines that can fend off the terror that comes with severe COVID infections.

Science has proven that vaccines work and masks are effective.

This never should have become a political game, even though lives are being toyed with through measures that could put people at risk and deepen the public skepticism of the masks and vaccines sown by former President Donald Trump’s administration.

An Ohio bill introduced by Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, would ban public schools and universities from requiring students, staff, and visitors to wear masks while in class, at school-sponsored sporting events or during extracurricular activities.

Although it is expected to be moot when vaccines receive full approval from the FDA, Gov. Mike DeWine signed a Republican pushed bill that prevents public schools and universities from requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students and staff.

The so-called Vaccine Choice and Anti-Discrimination law and other anti-vaccine efforts that undermine public safety are a cold slap in the face to those who lost loved ones and those who lost their livelihoods during the pandemic.

They defy logic.

The global, national, state, and local death and hospitalization statistics tell the story of a ruthless foe that hits both those with existing health issues and the healthy.

More than 4.12 million lives were stolen worldwide, including 609,0000 in the United States. The dead were mothers, fathers, children, sisters, brothers, friends, neighbors.

They attended church, ran races, cared for the sick, lived normal lives.

The lawmakers, the political pundits and talking heads who rant against masks, vaccines and other preventative measures are partly culpable for the lives that will be taken during what is now being dubbed the “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

We cannot see SARS-CoV-2 with the naked eye, but we have the tools to send a dagger through its figurative heart.

The question is whether we will use the tools to subdue it or continue to play games that will cost lives.

* Guest editorial excerpt by The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus, Ohio.


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