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Reader's View: COVID precautions aren’t too much to ask

No vaccine is 100% effective, but hospitalization and testing records show the unvaccinated are many times more likely to get COVID-19 and even more likely to be hospitalized and die.

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I appreciate the News Tribune for encouraging actions to reduce the spread of COVID-19. It’s a shame that calls for sensible efforts have fallen on so many deaf ears and on uncaring, defiant ones. Even though the current omicron variant is less virulent, its transmissibility is causing high rates of serious cases, crowded hospitals, deaths, and economic and social impacts that could be reduced with more vaccinations and by reasonable masking and social-distancing efforts.

A huge disappointment regarding this is how actions and attitudes that hurt our society are rationalized using blatant misinformation. There are continuing claims that vaccines don’t work and are harmful. No vaccine is 100% effective, but hospitalization and testing records show the unvaccinated are many times more likely to get COVID-19 and even more likely to be hospitalized and die. This can be fact-checked by anyone who actually cares about our community. All vaccines can have adverse side effects and should be avoided by some, but it is clear that the negative impacts are many times less than the positive. Some have even suggested COVID-19 spread should be hastened to reach herd immunity. What would this do to hospital problems and death rates? How much disdain does this show for our health care workers?

Particularly disappointing is how many Republicans have encouraged misinformation and opposed reasonable public health measures. Rep. Pete Stauber evaded saying whether he was vaccinated. His opposition to mandatory vaccinations shouldn’t have kept him from being open about his own status or from encouraging actions to help our community.

Republicans I grew up with wouldn’t so readily put their political capital ahead of public health. This doesn’t mean taking actions that unduly hurt our economy and limit our lives, but some measures should be accepted if we truly care for our country.

Russell Erickson

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Duluth


Readers' View and Local Views

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