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Editorial – What’s wrong with us?

Dear Prince Edward County citizens:

What is the hold up?

As Virginia celebrates reaching the 70% mark for vaccinated adults, we continue to lag behind in the number of people who have taken a shot, and it’s only a matter of time before we stall completely.

For months, Prince Edward has sported some of the lowest vaccination rates in the state for COVID-19, and that remains true today. As of Monday, June 21, just 31.9% of Prince Edward residents are fully vaccinated. That’s the 10th lowest in the state.

County officials and public health experts have made every attempt possible to make the vaccine accessible. There are walk-in clinics happening all over the area. The vaccine is available at almost any pharmacy, free of charge. The county has even offered up scholarships to students who get vaccinated.

If you hesitated to get the vaccine out of fear, fear can largely be conquered by knowledge and information, and there is plenty of knowledge out there to spare. The information, the data, is at your fingertips 24/7. Any question you have about the vaccine can be answered with the click of a button.

If you were waiting for a zombie apocalypse to happen, chances are, it’s not coming. If you were worried the vaccine was an attempt for the government to spy on you with some sort of microchip, think again. You are not interesting enough for the government to want to track you, and even if they did want to, they could do it with that iPhone in your pocket.

If you were waiting for side effects, they’ve been few and far between. If you thought the virus was a hoax, hopefully you realize how difficult it is to fake 3.86 million deaths across the world, 600,000 across the U.S. and 35 in our county.

More than 2,000 of us were sick with the virus. More than 100 of us were hospitalized. The virus shut down our schools and brought our community hospital nearly to its breaking point.

Maybe you haven’t received the vaccine yet because you don’t like to be told what to do and instinctively rebel against “the man.” Maybe it’s a political thing for you. Maybe you just haven’t gone out to get it because you are lazy and put everything off for as long as you can.

There’s no room for laziness anymore, nor is there room for politics or wanting to stick it to the man.

You may be encouraged that the world is opening up again. You don’t have to wear a mask to go almost anywhere. You don’t have to socially distance, and gatherings can be as big as you please.

The problem is that by choosing not to get the vaccine you have made yourself exceptionally vulnerable to this illness. The Delta variant, which is 40-60% more transmissible than the current variant, has arrived in the state. When you walk around without a mask, with no social distance or in a large crowd and you haven’t been vaccinated yet, you’re practically a sitting duck.

Many have called the fight against the coronavirus a wartime effort. It absolutely is. Your fellow man has sacrificed a lot to help get this country through this. While things are looking up, the destruction will not stop until we’ve driven the enemy out.

It is your patriotic duty to help end this battle. Your grandchildren will flip through their history books and read about the people who did their part to end this war.

What side of history are you going to be on?