Editor, The Era Leader
I have rejoiced in the new found liberation from mask wearing and other COVID restrictions we have enjoyed since late spring. This freedom has been made possible by the early success of the state’s and nation’s vaccine campaign beginning in January.
Unfortunately, we are at high risk of finding ourselves back in the world of masks, isolation and perhaps even more restrictions thanks to the emergence of the Delta variant and the refusal of our citizens to get vaccinated.
The latest statistics I have found reflect that only 35.9% of Louisiana’s eligible population have been fully vaccinated. This statistic for our parish is even more dismal: A paltry 29.5%.
In my attempts to persuade my reluctant friends and neighbors to “accept the jab,” I have encountered three main arguments:
1. False science and unsubstantiated rumors spread on social media;
2. Religious objections;
3.Intrusion of “big government” into our American freedom.
Time and space do not permit the rebuttal of all the existing internet lies. Suffice it to say, the best scientific minds in the country and world have concluded that the vaccines are safe and effective. Please talk to your physician.
Although fetal cells were used in their development, the vaccines do not contain them. Pope Francis himself has received the vaccine. To those that argue vaccines infringe on their religious freedom or interfere with the will of God, I suggest they re-read Matthew 22:39 —“You should love your neighbor as yourself.” Is not the receiving of the vaccine in order to prevent the spread of disease to our neighbor a marvelous expression of love?
The preamble of the Constitution of the United States reminds us that our government was established to “.....provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare....” for our nation. Therefore, rather than an intrusion of big government, I argue that our policies regarding precautions and vaccinations are just what our government was designed to do: provide for defense and promote the general welfare of our country. Make no mistake: We are at war with COVID and its variants. Our welfare depends on winning the war. To do so, we must all do our part by following the CDC guidelines. This, I submit, is our patriotic duty.
I urge all my friends and neighbors to get vaccinated. That way, we can have a wonderful fall and winter, emerging into 2022 with renewed strength and vitality.
Yours very truly,
Richard W. Watts, Franklinton