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I’m tired of being in a pandemic! I miss going places without wearing a mask! I like to socialize and hug and shake hands and just mingle with my friends, church family, AKA sorority sisters, Hampton University Alumni, NAACP, family and neighbors!  I enjoy traveling as well to different and familiar places!  I guess I’m getting use to Zoom calls, but I prefer in person meetings and direct conversation.  Can’t do all of this in a pandemic without wearing a mask!  My husband and I are vaccinated and now, “Thank God” our son and grandsons are too!

The arrival of the deadly Delta variant and fears of a “breakthrough” infection, however rare,  has the vaccinated wearing our masks indoors again, and outside too if we can’t be socially distanced.  The pandemic has caused us to rethink and revitalize our sense of logic, freedoms, and responsibilities.  With freedom, comes responsibility in considering the health, safety, and well-being of us all.  COVID-19 deaths have affected 600 thousand plus families in the US, and 726+ families in Guilford County.  The Delta variant is more infectious and transmissible even in vaccinated individuals we are learning.  It is wreaking havoc and ravaging our communities.  More variants will follow if we continue to have low vaccination rates.  Many hospitalizations occurring now are in the unvaccinated population!  Our children under 12 years of age are not eligible for the vaccine and many are ill, filling up hospital beds, and dying due to this insidious disease.  Let’s quickly get these vaccines approved for them!

Can we please be responsible by getting the COVID-19 vaccines if your health allows you to? If you do receive the vaccines, you are less likely to be very ill, become hospitalized or die.  Let’s trust the science, please.  Continue to take preventative measures like the three Ws remember? Wash and sanitize your hands and your surrounding environs; Wait 3-6 ft socially distanced especially in high traffic locales; and most important Wear a mask even if you are vaccinated! I applaud the Guilford County Commissioners and the Guilford County School board for their mask mandate!

In closing please do not let down your guard! The pandemic is NOT OVER! The vaccinated are not as safe as we thought and the unvaccinated are at a HIGH RISK!  There is so much information we still don’t know about the COVID-19 and its variants.  Get vaccinated and continue to wear a mask! It is the least we can do to safeguard ourselves, family and community.

Thank you Education Committee Chairperson, Elma Hairston, for contributing to this information.

Stay Well Community,

Gayle Simmons,  Health Chairperson HPNAACP