Pat Edwards

Last week, Jim and I were ecstatic to hear the announcement from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that our country has reached the point in our continued fight against COVID-19 where all of us who are fully vaccinated will no longer be expected to wear masks or socially distance except in certain situations (i.e. assisted living centers, medical offices and hospitals, on public transportation, etc.) where masks might still be mandated.

This was personally wonderful news, but we realize that there are still many who are holding off on getting the vaccine until they feel more confident in its safety.

I respect legitimate concerns. Looking at the fact of how many doses have been administered in the U.S. and how few serious allergic reactions have occurred, however, my hope is that our nation is able to reach its projected goal of 70% vaccinated by July 4.

For me, this has never been a political issue.

Over my 78 years, I’ve seen the benefits of other vaccines that have controlled, or even wiped out, polio, smallpox, HIV, diphtheria, measles and so many other diseases that threatened our population.

Wearing masks have not been fun, but they have proven effective in protecting those of us who have used them. Now that it’s available, we have chosen to be vaccinated and we are taking that first big step back to normalcy ... we no longer have to wear masks. That, in itself, is worth the one or two pokes in the arm that will ensure that, as a nation, we can gain control of this terrible disease that has killed so many in just a little more than a year.

Please get vaccinated. Don’t do it for me – I’m protected. Do it for yourself and for your loved ones who’d like to keep you around for a while longer. Yes ... most likely you’ll survive COVID-19 if you get it, but are you really willing to take that chance?

Pat Edwards is an author and local historian. You can contact her at her website:

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