Support Humboldt County Vaccine Mandate
Support Humboldt County Vaccine Mandate
Point 1: We are facing the biggest health and public crisis in over 100 years. Everyone knows that. No rational person denies it.
Point 2: What we have done for the last year and a half has not stopped it. That’s not opinion; it’s fact – as published daily by the Humboldt County Department of Health.
Despite the fact that we now have a vaccine that we didn’t have last year, and that we know how to minimize the danger of COVID, we are at our highest levels of spread since the pandemic began. That’s just wrong.
Our hospitals are in danger of being overrun. Our health care workers are overworked and feel defeated and unappreciated. They face a shortage of staff and the options to bring in more are close to non-existent. Instead of being hailed as saviors and heroes, they have been treated as frontline pawns thrown into a winless war without regard for what they must face. To that point, we can’t even keep up with the demand for COVID tests due to the rampant penetration of the disease. And let’s not forget the societal, personal, and financial damage being done to individuals, organizations, and our local businesses.
For the last 18 months, many of us have chipped in and done what we were asked to do to mitigate this rolling disaster. We took care of ourselves and we did our duty to take care of our community. We did everything requested of us. We isolated. We (double) masked. We socially distanced. We sterilized our hands and workspaces. We worked from home when possible. We avoided crowds and travel. We missed family celebrations and gatherings. And when it was finally possible, we stepped to the plate and got vaccinated, looking forward to being able to (somewhat) return to our lives, assuming that we – the general public – would cooperate for our own health as well as the public good.
Alas, that was not to be the case.
Because so many have refused to cooperate, we are now in worse shape than we were a year ago. It is not however for not trying. We cajoled them. Nothing. We offered all manner of incentives. Nothing. We set up vaccination clinics. Nothing. We tried enticing them in every way possible. Still nothing. Study after study; expert after expert; have all reported that the ONLY way to overcome this pandemic is vaccination. Period. End of story. COVID will not just “go away,” it will persist, probably even mutate into more dangerous incarnations if we don’t do something NOW.
We are bitterly disappointed, frustrated, and even angry at how this has shaken out. There is no reason for our progress to not only stop but to go backward due to the irresponsibility of so many others. It’s just plain wrong that those of us who did the right thing have to sacrifice YET AGAIN for those who could get the vaccine but have refused. Their argument is “personal choice.” We get it. They have that right, but with choice, comes responsibility.
In light of what has not worked, it’s time to change course and do something different than previously attempted. We must take a different tact; not only for the reasons listed above but also because, as good citizens, we believe it is our responsibility to help protect that small number of citizens with serious medical conditions who cannot get vaccinated or those too young to get the vaccine; both groups of which are at heightened risk should they catch the virus.
The reality is continuing to yell at a wall won’t cause it to fall.
So, while continuing to try and convince and coerce and encourage the unvaccinated to step up, we need to change our tactics and target those who won’t do the right thing by, this time, making them sacrifice. Why should it be that those who won’t do the right thing get to drag down those who do? It’s time for a new approach; as the old approach didn’t work and there’s no reason to assume it will this time.
There is a public-health movement spreading across the U.S. and it’s time we instigated it in Humboldt County.
New York City is requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for people to enter indoor restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues. New Orleans and San Francisco are imposing such rules at many businesses starting, while Los Angeles is looking into the idea. Smaller cities are doing this also: Cathedral City, CA, will require proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours must be shown for patrons entering a restaurant and/or bar with the exception of children under age 12 or those with a medical condition. Local businesses and organizations are doing what they can.
We understand that some don’t want to get the shot. Then, they don't get to be with those who did. No shot? No public transportation. No shot? No restaurants. No shot? No attendance at public events. It's really simple. Some say it’s wrong for the government to apply such rules but that’s not true. When public safety is necessary, we do what we have to do for the greater good. It’s not personal; it’s responsible.
We all want to get out again. We want to go on vacation. We want to go to the movies or theater. We want to eat at a restaurant – but we want to do it in a safer environment. Unlike some, we’re not willing to gamble with the virus — nor deny its reality.
We did what we were supposed to do to bring us back from the brink. We took care of everyone we could. Now, it's time for others to help with the load. It’s the fair and right thing to do.
We want you to begin the process to require “proof of vaccination” for large and indoor events so those of us who are being responsible can enjoy the fruits of our actions. We are willing to help however we can.