Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is now saturated with political accusations and motivations. Politics have no place in public health care issues, but that seems to be where we are.

This newspaper is among many outlets targeted by critics and often accused of having a political agenda. Our agenda is to provide as much accurate information as possible so that you, the reader, can make the best decision for yourself and your family.

The opinions of many of our critics will not change, so this is not intended for them. But it occurred to us that others may be reading some comments and legitimately want answers, so we’re going to try and answer a couple.

Why do you identify vaccinated or unvaccinated? The facts are this Delta variant surge is a pandemic mostly of the unvaccinated. That is well documented by a multitude of sources. If most of the hospitalizations/deaths were vaccinated people, that would be a massive story and the media would be all over it, but the facts are the vaccines are working, extraordinarily well. It is also a sad fact because the vaccines are working, much of the illness and death is preventable by the vaccine. For those who have not been vaccinated, that is something to be considered.

Our county has 59,000 people and only “x number” are infected. Why is this a story? For every infected individual multiply that number by the people whom they have been around and possibly infected. On Wednesday, 117 new confirmed cases were identified in the county. Multiply by a modest number of people each one contacted, say five. That means 585 others may have contracted the virus. That’s one percent of the county’s population. Since the Delta variant start surging in our county, more than 1,200 people have been confirmed with COVID. Multiply that by five and suddenly we are talking 10 percent of the county. 

The media is just pushing a government agenda. This is a conspiracy to take away our rights. One critic suggested the News-Graphic is getting paid to “push” an agenda. Really? Who is paying us? We have not seen the check. Seriously, though, if this were truly a government conspiracy, what explains the events in other parts of the world? The level of such a conspiracy would have to be so massive it would be doomed to failure. 

The media is blowing this out of proportion. Every media consumer has a right to discern that media’s purpose. Some media outlets are not reliable or have an agenda, so in that case the consumer should beware. But this crisis is real. Talk to the health care workers who are living it every day, like Georgetown Community Hospital’s Chief Nursing Officer Donna Davis. They are overwhelmed, tired and sad. Criticize the media if you wish, but pray for our healthcare workers. Like our returning soldiers, we fear the post-traumatic stress from the pandemic on our frontline health care workers will be something our society is dealing with for a long time. 

First it’s a mask mandate. Then it’s a vaccine mandate. Then we have to show a vaccination card to enter a restaurant. Where does it stop? These are measures taken to protect you and your family. They are not intended to be punitive. Like wearing a helmet when playing football, or wearing glasses if your vision is not 20/20, wearing a mask is a protection for you and those around you. There are legitimate reasons not to take the vaccine such as a pregnancy or a medical condition, but that should be discussed with an individual’s personal doctor. If you are just afraid, then think about the consequences. This vaccine is arguably the most scrutinized vaccine ever, and vaccines have been around for decades. 

Don’t take our word for any of this. Talk with your personal doctor. Do your own research. Some cynicism is healthy, but don’t be naive. Do your own personal research and make the decision you are most comfortable with.

And let’s all work together to get this pandemic behind us.

And support our healthcare workers with your prayers and good wishes.

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