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Davis Journal

We were close to beating back COVID, until we weren’t

Aug 06, 2021 10:45AM ● By Bryan Gray

We almost had it whipped…Science developed a vaccine with striking efficiency and rare, hardly noticeable side effects…It was free to almost every American, and in later months, as convenient as walking into a Walgreens or buying a gallon of milk at a grocery store. It appeared as if we could toss away our masks and smile again at strangers. Soon COVID would be a remnant of history just like our war with smallpox and polio.

And then we let it slip away. Most of us followed the science, but due to the ignorance of some 40% of the country, we are back to the Centers for Disease Control recommending masks while our hospitals are filling up with the sick who are struggling not to join the other 600,000 Americans who have gravestones rather than birthday parties. 

Gov. Cox puts the blame on right-wing propagandists who carelessly fill the obituary pages for their own financial gain. “We have these talking heads who have gotten the vaccine and are telling other people not to get it,” said the governor. “That kind of stuff is killing people.”

Yes, killing not educating. 

We have the sophomoric Tucker Carlson on Fox News telling listeners on his July 8 show that the government was tracking who does and doesn’t get vaccines. Sorry Tucker, but it’s Santa, not Joe Biden, who has a list and is checking it twice.

We have the every-conspiracy-is-true Jeanine Pirro, another Fox regular, claiming on July 12 that Joe Biden’s door-to-door vaccination request is really about “confiscating your guns.”

We have a crazed but popular Newsmax host saying that vaccines “go against nature” since life’s “ebb and flow is supposed to wipe out a certain number of people…and vaccinations just get in the way of that.”

Yeah, tell that to the families of the 600,000 resting in cemeteries. Pardon me if they don’t appreciate the “natural ebb and flow” that killed their parents and grandparents.

With the help of the conspiracy-minded, the virus is circling us again, and predictably we are hearing calls for renewed mask-wearing along with an array of private businesses and government agencies requiring masks and/or proof of vaccination.  

As I have written before, I am no fan of requiring vaccinations; people have a perfect right to follow what a pizza-delivery driver posts on the internet rather than their family doctor. At the same time, people do not have an absolute right to endanger the health of others. The Supreme Court ruled against them during the nation’s smallpox outbreak.

But if the minority won’t follow science, they will probably follow convenience.  Vaccinations cards should be required to board airplanes, enter restaurants, theaters, and grocery stores, visit public buildings (including libraries), and work in industries including hospitals, schools, and retail sales. That is no more restrictive than requiring a passport for foreign travel, a library card to check out books, or an age requirement to purchase tobacco or alcohol.

No one is forcing unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves. All we’d be doing is holding people accountable for their own decisions. Benefits come with responsibilities. We preach this to our teenage sons and daughters. It’s time to practice it to protect our country so that we can get rid of those uncomfortable masks for good!