The pandemic is living up to its name. A pandemic is an epidemic of an infectious disease that has spread across a large region of multiple continents or worldwide affecting a substantial number of people. There have been more than 600,000 deaths in this country and millions worldwide. Millions of lives have been forever altered by this virus which renders many people infected with ailments such as shortness of breath and fatigue- issues they may experience for a long time.
Our job is to control the virus causing the pandemic with mitigation using vaccines and public health strategies. The virus causing a pandemic knows no names. In this case, COVID-19 does not know your address, your bank account or lifestyle. It does know how to take advantage of those who are unable to protect themselves. It will also take advantage of those that choose not to avail themselves of the strategies of mitigation. To those who do not have the ability to take care of themselves, society has a responsibility to protect everyone.
The coronavirus knows how to change its face or mutate so that it is even more infectious than before. Individuals who remain unvaccinated, regardless of the reason, are at highest risk for contracting COVID and its variants.
Our society is now in a struggle between the rights of individuals to decide if they want to take the vaccine versus the rights of all mankind to be protected. More businesses, government and academic institutions are mandating that their workers/ students be vaccinated. Hospitals, medical groups and other agencies are requiring everyone to be immunized in order to protect our society as a whole. Ultimately, the rights of society will outweigh individual choice because we are in a life and death situation. COVID is nothing to play with and must be taken seriously.
Mask mandates are being reinstated as the number of people infected soar. The increase in cases is likely to be followed by an increase in deaths.
As we continue to live and work in the midst of this pandemic, everyone must understand that this is a fight for the survival of everyone. Some medical professionals are approaching burn out after spending the last 18 months caring for COVID-19 patients. All hands are needed on deck. It is vital that people who can be vaccinated get the vaccination to protect themselves from Covid-19 and its variants.
Society cannot afford to let up. Let’s mask up, continue to socially distance. It is in your best interest to be extremely careful when venturing out in crowds, eating out, vacationing or visiting friends and relatives.
If you have not been vaccinated, understand that the Delta variant is much more infectious. Healthcare workers are now seeing younger people infected with the Delta variant along with people who have no underlying medical conditions.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has stumbled in its messaging. Their recommendations of masking I believe are correct this time but masking can only help so much. We must roll up our sleeves and take the vaccine for the health of our society and the world. This is the best, fastest and perhaps the only way to control this pandemic. Vaccinations should not be about one’s individual rights. We are in the middle of a worldwide health crisis and right now we have three very effective vaccines- Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Get vaccinated and help maintain the public health of our global community. Do it today!
Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at email@example.com.
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