As the increase of COVID-19 cases increase yet again, the primary cause, medical experts say, is the slowdown in vaccinations in Virginia, the nation and the world. Cases topped 1,000 cases a day on Wednesday and Thursday’s reports from the Virginia Department of Health, and the increases continue to rise.
While the Centers for Disease Control are again urging most Americans, event those fully vaccinated, return to wearing masks indoors, and many parts of the country are following suit, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is not.
The Centers also want “universal masking” for teachers, staff members and students in schools. With Floyd County public schools returning to class in just over two weeks, that could bring some changes.
Nationwide, confirmed infections by the virus quadrupled in July, which started the month average about 13,000 a day to more than 56,000 with two days left.
“The war has changed,” says CDC in an internal memo, which has not been released publicly but says fully vaccinated individuals can transmit the virus even if they do not appear to have been invected.
“I finished reading it significantly more concerned than when I began,” Robert Wachter, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, writes in an email. Data from the report is expected to be published Friday for all to see.
With just over half of those eligible for vaccination fully inoculated in Virginia, the problem is compounded by those who brag publicly that they are not vaccinated and will not get them. Doctors and medical experts we trust say that is dangerous.
I’m back to wearing a mask in most public situations. At Food Lion in Floyd this week, a man asked me: “Are you still wearing a mask because you are not fully vaccinated?”
“No,” I replied. “I’m wearing one because I don’t know if you or others in here are. Are you vaccinated?” He wasn’t wearing a mask.
“Hell no,” he said. “Vaccinations are a hoax.”
“Really? Who told you that?”
“Sean Hannity. He’s the only newsman I trust.”
I excused myself and walked away. That kind of ignorance is infuriating.
The Washington Post, a newspaper I’ve trusted and have worked for over the years, says:
“Although it’s rare, we believe that at an individual level, vaccinated people may spread the virus, which is why we updated our recommendation,” according to the federal health official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. “Waiting even days to publish the data could result in needless suffering and as public health professionals we cannot accept that.”
In the opinion of many doctors, health experts and journalists we know and trust, those who refuse vaccinations are time bombs who pose a threat to our society and way of life.
What used to be the conservative movement in this country is becoming a death cult. The measure of its power is less in ballots cast than in how many people die needlessly in service of this twisted worldview.
This reality was on view over the weekend in Dallas at the Conservative Political Action Conference, where attendees cheered when Alex Berenson, who has made himself a Fox News folk hero for spreading misinformation about covid-19 vaccines, crowed about the fact that fewer Americans were getting their shots than public health officials had hoped.
“It’s horrifying,” Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “I mean, they are cheering about someone saying that it’s a good thing for people not to try and save their lives. … Everybody starts screaming and clapping. I just don’t get that. I mean, and I don’t think that anybody who is thinking clearly can get that. What is that all about?”
“Stupid is as stupid does,” wrote Winston Groom in his hit novel, Forest Gump, which became an Oscar-winning movie with Tom Hanks as the hero.
Gump was a fictional character, but the book, and movie, became an examination of “the idiocy of life in our time” in the words of one reviewer.
Groom died last year, but his words live on.
Stupid is as stupid does is a blunt explanation of what we see all around us in our politicized society. For those who refused needed vaccinations, it is also a death sentence that threatens all of us.