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Letter to the editor

With Covid, we are near ‘tipping point’

On 9/11, terrorists took the lives of nearly 3,000 people.

In the months that followed, then President Bush signed into law the Aviation and Transportation Security Act.

These measures were put into effect to prevent future terrorist attacks and hijackings on airplanes.

During this time of crisis, Americans were asked to think less of their individual civil liberties and more of societal well-being.

Yes, at the beginning it made lines longer and you had to get to the airport much earlier than before.

But over time Americans got used to it. We grew accustomed to going through metal detectors and being pulled out of line to get patted down.

We knew that these measures were for the safety of everyone on the airplane.

Now, fast forward to October 2021.

Over 724,000 Americans have died from COVID-19. We are facing a pandemic that has killed 4.5 million people worldwide.

In contrast to Americans accepting the mandates implanted after 9/11 by Congress and President Bush, Americans are not embracing mandates meant to protect the public against a deadly virus.

Would Americans today react differently if instead of an airborne virus killing hundreds of thousands, it was a group of terrorists? Would they still feel that safety measures were stripping them of their civil liberties and that mask and vaccine mandates were unconstitutional?

We are reaching a tipping point in this pandemic.

Right now, only 57.4% of Americans are vaccinated against Covid. That means we haven’t reached herd immunity, which means the virus isn’t going anywhere, and you will see more and more mutations.

You will see nursing homes not being able to accept patients because staff aren’t getting vaccinated. You will see hospitals run out of ICU beds because of unvaccinated Americans.

Alabama, Georgia, Texas, Florida, and Arkansas have less than 10% ICU capacity.

Blair County only has a 47% vaccination rate compared to Pennsylvania at 59.6%.

In Portugal, however, there is close to a 88% vaccination rate. This rate was achieved by Vice Admiral Henrique Gouveia e Melo, a former submarine commander.

His advice to achieve herd immunity was this, “The first thing is to make this thing a war, and then find people who aren’t politicians.”

Immunity may wane overtime, but this is why we need booster shots. So, I implore you: Get vaccinated. Wear a mask when you go out.

If you don’t want to listen to science, listen to reason, if not reason listen to your heart. The vaccine is safe and effective. It doesn’t change your DNA.

The government isn’t listening or controlling you with nanobots. If you won’t do it for yourself, do it for someone else.

Jesse Pellow

Hollidaysburg

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