To the editor, 

Seventy-six. That’s the number of children who have died from COVID last month in the U.S.  In the last year 408 children have died from COVID in the U.S.  

If there was some scourge that was causing this kind of fatality rate in children, we would stop everything to try to find out what was causing it.

We know what’s causing this. We even have ways to keep children from getting infected in the first place. Currently, no vaccines are available for children under 12, but we can protect them by getting everyone 12 and older vaccinated.  

The other things we can do to protect children are to have the classrooms ventilated better, try to keep the kids separated by distance (which certainly is challenging for grade school children) and to require masks.

I understand many people feel the vaccine and mask wearing are personal choices, and they believe there shouldn’t be mandates to require them. Mandates should be unnecessary.  If we all wanted to protect the most vulnerable, including children and others who are unable to be vaccinated, we would gladly wear masks and line up to get the vaccine. If more of us are immune, there is less virus in the community.  Less virus means it’s harder to get infected. It is as simple as that.

But since so many folks refuse to do these simple things to protect children and other vulnerable people, mandates are required.  

The vaccine is safe. After nearly 400 million doses have been given in the U.S. Any reactions that have occurred are all more likely to occur to someone who comes down with COVID (including death). So far, over 700,000 Americans have died from this virus.  

I remember when there was a battle to continue to allow smoking in bars and restaurants. It took a state law for many businesses to comply. Now we all can enjoy meals in a smoke-free environment and workers of those establishments are no longer subjected to the hazards of breathing in second-hand smoke.

Everyone wants COVID to go away. Since there are millions of unvaccinated people in our country, the virus is going to pop up in flare ups here and there for many months to come. 

I’m asking those of you who are not vaccinated to please get the shot.  

These are my thoughts and opinions. No other person or organization was involved in writing them.

Terry Johnson


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