Our View: Read the memo
Some people haven’t yet gotten the memo — there’s still a pandemic going on.
Most of us thought it would end with the advent of vaccines. We remained huddled in our homes, only stepping outside when masked, following the rules and staying safe.
And then, when the vaccines became available for everyone in early April, many of us raced to our doctors, pharmacies or the Whispering Pines clinic for the shot. We thought it was over. We thought the world would return to normal.
Instead, it appears those days are gone forever, and we’re currently living in what’s now considered the new normal.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is proving we’re nowhere close to being out of the woods. Case numbers are exploding in Nevada County. After not seeing a COVID-19-related death here since early April, we’ve had five so far this month. It wasn’t that long ago that we’d have under 10 people suffering from COVID-19 in the hospital on any given day. Now we’re closer to 30.
Read the memo: We’ve got to do things differently if we’re going to beat this.
It’s clear that vaccinating enough people to reach herd immunity isn’t going to happen. Those who wanted the vaccine got it in the first month it was available. Nevada County then saw the numbers drop, leading them to taper the hours of their free vaccination clinic, and then shutter it completely.
Sure, some folks who were on the fence ultimately chose to get the shot. But now we’re left with a sizable group that isn’t going to get it.
That means we’re left with an ever decreasing number of tools in our toolbox to fix this thing.
There will be no national mandate for everyone to get the vaccine, and that’s a good thing. This country is too large for a one-size-fits-all rule.
A county mask mandate, implemented on Friday, makes much more sense.
Everyone must now wear a mask in Nevada County when in a public setting or business — a targeted, specific approach to this county made by local leaders and officials.
This county can’t issue a vaccination mandate, nor should it have that power. But there’s no reason businesses shouldn’t have the ability to choose who to employ, or are allowed on their premises, based on that criteria.
People opposed to the vaccine have argued they shouldn’t be forced to get the inoculation. Likewise, businesses shouldn’t be forced to employ people who don’t get the shot. The Delta variant is highly contagious. There’s no reason you should be compelled to visit a hairdresser, nurse, or any other professional who won’t get vaccinated.
That’s just business, and what business wants to hire people who could lead to fewer customers?
Our country is dealing with an onslaught of misinformation about the virus and how we should react to it while our hospitalizations and infections skyrocket. We can encourage our friends and family to get the shot, but we can’t make them.
What we can do is control ourselves, where we go, and what we say.
If you don’t like a business’ stance on vaccination or masking, don’t go there. For those who support taking these health precautions, frequenting these businesses is the equivalent to voting with your dollars. It shows you care about local business owners, and provides a living, breathing example for others to emulate.
There are too many people who refuse to listen to rational arguments. But they can see your actions, and the actions of others who feel the same way.
They can see the vaccinated people in our community, when the 20% of breakthrough cases occur, don’t go to the hospital at the same rate as the unvaccinated. They don’t need the same level of care. And they don’t die of COVID-19 at the same rate.
That’s the memo they should see.
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com
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