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Knowledge behind COVID measures sound

Yes, enough is enough.

It is time to stand up and affirm sound public health measures. It is time to examine the sound scientific knowledge regarding COVID-19’s severity and transmission rate.

Yes, there were and will be some confusing messages from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But we are dealing with an ever-changing virus and an evolution of new vaccines. Yet the guidance of physicians, scientists and epidemiologists has been spot-on to keep people protected — if not totally free of COVID, at least modifying the illness. What are those recommendations? Vaccination, masking, social distancing, and washing hands. Public health is for the “common good,” that which will protect the most people, the most vulnerable, and it is everyone’s responsibility to be a part of this. That is Public Health — sanitation oversight, safe food preparation in restaurants, childhood vaccination and a number of other programs. Programs that are trusted and adhered to.

Had I still maintained my medical license, I would be in the office seeing patients. Being retired, I do not want to add to the problem — getting sick — and have chosen to limit travel, limit in-person and indoor social contacts, and shopping at low-traffic times. I mask inside commercial businesses. And I am vaccinated.

There is adequate and verifiable evidence that the vaccinations are safe and effective in either preventing COVID or modifying the infection. No vaccine is 100% safe and effective. The statistics that 90% of those currently in hospitals are not vaccinated speak for itself. The “new” mRNA vaccine has really been in the laboratory works for over 30 years. Moderna and BioNTech have been in business for 10 and 15 years. (Nature 597, 318-324,(2021) and UAB News May 25, 2021.)

The mask issue is a little more difficult to have “perfect” statistical evidence for effectiveness. Since kids and adults do not wear masks properly or use N95 or KN95 masks, good statistics will be difficult to obtain. Multiple studies and knowledge of air droplet transmission of other viruses convince me for the benefits of masks. Plenty of children wear masks without complaint — my grandchildren. It is the adults who are interfering with health department and CDC recommendations for children to wear masks. My feeling on this issue is to let the health department with the CDC make those decisions in coordination with the schools. While case numbers are high, we, as concerned citizens for our neighbors, should be wearing masks inside businesses.

COVID may evolve into an endemic problem, like influenza but that will not relieve the pressure on our health care system until the vast majority of the children (when the vaccine is available) and adults are vaccinated. or all those who have chosen not to get vaccinated suffer the more serious consequences from COVID.

I also recognize that there will be those with medical conditions who are at risk of serious disease yet cannot receive the vaccine, but are highly vulnerable, and it is our collective responsibility as a caring society to protect this group.

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