Memo to the naysayers and scientifically incompetent who claim the COVIID-19 pandemic is fading away and masks and vaccinations are not needed. Go bury your hand in the sand and choke from the inability to breathe there.
Those who are vaccinated fully, including a booster shot, can feel a little safer than others over the long Thanksgiving Day weekend as long as they spend it with others who have had the injections and take other recommended precautions, says top American infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci but if they are around those who do not, and there are still way too many among us, the danger remains.
“If people are vaccinated, then they should feel good and safe about enjoying in their own homes or the homes of relatives a typical type of a Thanksgiving meal,” the good doctor said on the Post Reports podcast over the weekend.
But, because of the idiots who remain out and about, it is not all that safe.
“We still have to be careful of congregate settings indoors in which you are not sure of who is there with you,” Fauci warns. ‘I’m sorry, we don’t feel that we should be in the same room with you,’ or … have them get a test within 24 or so hours before they come to the house.”
Floyd County reported 13 new cases over the weekend. Virginia’s total infections over the same period totaled 4,080 infections with 56 more deaths. The Old Dominion will probably top one million cases by the end of the year with more than 15,000 deaths.
Four new deaths came in Roanoke City, with three more in Salem. The Star City area had 242 new cases total with eight deaths. While 64% of Virginia residents are fully vaccinated, the percentage in Floyd County falls to less than half.
In Floyd County, Kalinda Bechtold, an incoming supervisor from Indian Valley claims, flatly, that vaccinations don’t help in dealing with COVID-19. Neither do masks, she proclaims. A deputy sheriff recently had to eject her from a school board meeting because she refused to obey the regulation that everyone inside a school building must wear face protection.
Her “evidence” to ignore the rules, she claims, comes, from her “years as a nurse,” but she cites no studies, no reports, no evidence. Those who know a lot more about infectious diseases and viruses, including Dr. Fauci, officials at the Virginia Department of Health, and the doctors and disease experts at Carilion Clinic, say otherwise and they gave the studies and evidence to support their beliefs. Her claims come from “talking points” provided by the extreme conspiracy theorists who now control her Republican Party.
“When you’re in the middle of a deadly pandemic, it isn’t only about you in a vacuum, it’s about your societal responsibility,” says Dr. Fauci, who is also director of the National Institute. “You do have a societal responsibility to help contain this outbreak, and you do that by getting vaccinated.”
In areas where mask requirements have been relaxed, those in the know keep wearing them. One is them is Calvin Watson, a 55-year-old certified nursing assistant in the District of Columbia who still doesn’t go out without a mask.
“I’m fully vaccinated, I have my booster, but I feel odd if I don’t have it on,” Watson, a 55-year-old certified nursing assistant, told The Washington Post as he cleaned his hands with a disinfectant wipe at a Giant grocery store in the DC area. “Better safe than sorry.”
That’s the message people throughout the District shared Monday as they went about their business largely unchanged, 20 months into a pandemic that’s claimed 1,196 lives in the city. Many were reluctant to take risks as coronavirus case and hospitalization rates rise and before families gather indoors for winter holidays, which experts predict could cause a spike.
Watson is a nurse worth listening to. He puts medical evidence ahead of politics and cares more about public safety than spreading false and dangerous misinformation.