To The Daily Sun,
Our two strongest weapons are masks and vaccinations. They can prevent serious illness, death, lockdowns, closed businesses, and closed schools. Sadly, 99% of Covid ICU patients and deaths are unvaccinated. It's now a pandemic of the unvaccinated.
Scientific ignorance, selfish individualism, and the politicization of a public health emergency have brought us this terrible harvest. This is what relying on personal responsibility and wailing about false freedoms has brought us. This is what believing all parents know what's best for their children reaps. This is what happens when people and politicians with strong feelings ignore facts. This is what happens when 50 percent of Americans rely on Facebook and Fox for their news and science.
No vaccine is perfect, but they reduce the chances of serious illness and death. Vaccines developed so far range in efficacy. One dose of MMR vaccine is 93-percent effective against measles, but two doses are 97-percent effective. On the other hand, the efficacy of Flu vaccines ranges between 40 and 60 percent when the vaccine is matched well with the circulating strain. That means it reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 and 60 percent among the overall population.
The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines are extraordinary in that their efficacies are 95 percent with the original strain. But Delta COVID has caused that to drop some, which is why vaccine makers are tweaking them. The tragic reality is that unvaccinated people can also become Petri dishes for new mutations to arise within that could evade the existing vaccines. A person infected with Delta sheds over 1,000 times the viruses that a person with the original strain did, which is why breakthrough infections are more likely to occur.
This is why masking, an added layer of protection, is smart at times. If you want this pandemic to end, get vaccinated and wear a mask when wise. Otherwise, we will be fighting this in 2023.
Vaccine mandates are legal. (Massachusetts V Jacobson Supreme Court, 1905). Following precedent and common sense, Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently refused to block a plan by Indiana University to require students and employees to get vaccinated. If people don't wake up, vaccine mandates will sweep the nation.
Nobody has the right to callously endanger people. Mask mandates are sensible in many places, especially if you want in-school teaching. Kids under 12 can't get vaccinated yet, and in the 12-17 age group, the rates are alarmingly low. It's a recipe for sick kids. Pediatric cases are skyrocketing. Schools are already closing. This fourth surge has just started. You haven't seen anything yet.
Vaccinated Texas Gov. Greg Abbot has Covid. How did he get it? Masks, of course. Abbot was at a GOP event the previous day mingling, hugging, kissing, sharing other maskless people's air close up while infected. Being the main attraction, he likely infected someone. He is now being treated with emergency authorized Regeneron's antibody treatment at $1,500 a dose.
Masks are somewhat cheaper.