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Opinon — There’s lots of questions about COVID vaccines and masks

Before I begin, I want all to know that I have been vaccinated. I believe everyone over the age of 50 should, as well as those who have underlying health issues that make them more susceptible to any virus.

In the last couple of weeks, the media once again has focused on the COVID virus much more than in the last several months.

This spring, most of us felt much more confident being around friends. Those working from home have been steadily moving back into their workplaces. The newest variant – delta – has had the CDC encouraging people to once again wear masks.

They tend to make little differential between those who have been vaccinated and those who have not. The statistics appear to show that the delta version of COVID shows little difference in getting the virus between those who have been vaccinated and others, only in the severity. Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to look at the facts rather than just news reports.

Statistics

Many have lost family members and friends. We should all be saddened by this. It is, however, important that we should consider all things in context. Nationally, every day another 320 people are dying. When compared to the flu that we see every year, this is three times greater. Comparing this to daily averages of other issues, about 1,700 Americans die from heart disease and another 1,600 from cancer each day. As well, 473 on an average day die from accidents. Even at its peak last year, it was the third ranked cause of death.

In Virginia, almost 47% of COVID related deaths have been those over 80 years of age. Almost 75% of the deaths have been over the age of 70. Fewer than 10% have been younger than 60.

This, however, is not the case with those who have been affected by the virus. 80% of the identified cases are with those under the age of 50, while 40% of those that have a case bad enough to be hospitalized are under 50.

Immunization Factors

Frequently, President Joe Biden and others complain about the percentage of Americans who have received the vaccination. The American taxpayers have paid a fortune in ways to convince folks to receive shots. Statewide, 4.6 million are fully vaccinated, 60%. It should be pointed out that 20% are underage and may not be allowed to receive a shot. This leaves about 20% who have not been for various reasons.

A few are allergic to the chemicals used in the shots. Some cannot because they have already had COVID and, therefore, their bodies have already self-immunized. Others have declined for religious reasons. While still others have declined because they do not believe the government should be pushing the shots that, while they are saving lives, have not been approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

The chance of berating the unvaccinated is of limited value. In each case, individuals talk to their medical provider and make the decision that is best for themselves and those around them.

Where Does This Leave Us?

Today, most of us are confused by all the stories in the news. If we got the shot, why are we now expected to start wearing a mask? Why are there stories that up to 40% of those being affected by the delta version have had a shot? If I am a younger, healthy person, what value is inoculation to me?

All are legitimate questions. If the government would listen to this type of question and answer it as one adult to another, we would all be better off.

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.