DEAR EDITOR:

At least 70% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot of COVID vaccine yet hospitalizations in certain states have returned to pre-vaccine levels. The same number of cases is arising out of less than half of the original pool of unprotected people. This means the dominant Delta variant is twice as easy to catch.

Over 90% of those over 65 have gotten their shots, which means most cases now involve younger people. Less than one-tenth of 1% of vaccinated persons have had a breakthrough case of COVID and 99.99% of those cases have been mild, not requiring hospitalization. Said another way, 99% of COVID hospitalizations involved unvaccinated persons.

It is very disconcerting to see the abysmal vaccination rate for Polk County. What is the basis of this situation? Some of it is political, with many resisting vaccination as an expression of their personal freedom to choose. Many argue that the government should not interfere in this process and that the decision to get vaccinated is one of personal responsibility, not government edict.

One can reasonably ask if this position extends to other areas where personal choice can threaten the health and lives of others? For instance, driving on the highway carries high potential for harming other users. Should all speeding and DUI laws be revoked so that all decisions on the highway reflect only personal responsibility? What about potentially dangerous working conditions at a factory? Should all laws regulating safe practices be revoked and the decisions about plant safety be left solely to the discretion of managers and supervisors?

Another source of confusion arises among Christians who have expressed a belief that taking action to protect themselves and their children demonstrates a lack of faith. Don’t we have responsibilities as believers? Shouldn’t we exercise due care where God gives us the sound judgement to detect it? Should believers test God by driving down the highway blind folded, operating dangerous machinery, or throwing themselves from a cliff?

Why not thank God that doctors have used their God-given brains to provide an answer to this murderous virus? If we take other precautions when driving, working, or operating machinery, why not take this precaution and thank God for it?

Perry T. Barrett

Rockmart, Georgia

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