California has barely passed the 50% mark of vaccinated residents. Despite the fact that vaccines and vaccination posts are available with almost no waiting in line, even with incentives—$50 gift cards, tacos—lots of people refuse to get vaccinated.
This is a problematic situation because, according to experts, unless we get 70%–80% of the population vaccinated there will not be herd immunization. Thus, the virus will win this battle.
The vaccine does not stop the virus transmission, meaning a vaccinated person can still get the Covid-19 virus. But it can prevent you from dying, even from rushing to the ER. And because of the variants of the virus—the Delta one has become the dominant variant in the United States, a more aggressive and dangerous one—vaccination is the main tool to control the pandemic.
Those who refuse to do so, whatever the excuse, are putting others at risk. Non-vaccinated people can pass the virus to the rest of us. Even worse, most anti-vax people also refuse to follow the safety protocols to control Covid-19, which is basically to use a mask, social distance and avoid crowded venues.
This lack of social responsibility and conscience is appalling. The arguments are the same, repeated over and over: “I don’t want the government to tell me what to do” (however, somebody is telling these people what to say), “I am afraid of what’s inside the vaccine?,” etc.
What all this is expressing—besides ignorance—is how deep the culture of individualism is rooted in American society. The basic “education” we receive is “me” instead of “us.” It is a component of the self-centered, self-made man (or woman), the one who from nowhere becomes a rich person, the successful individual who overcomes obstacles on his/her way to triumph. In this culture, we don’t hear expressions such as solidarity, working together or building community.
To overcome the pandemic, to defeat the Covid-19 virus, we have to work together. Getting vaccinated is part of this effort. We need to convince our neighbors of that.
In this issue, readers will find some articles dedicated to Covid-19. We want to do our part. We are part of this community, and we want it to be safe, strong, interactive and in solidarity with our neighbors.
Finally, a reminder to our readers and friends. Next month, the Community Alliance newspaper turns 25! Twenty-five years bringing you the voice of the progressive movement in the Central Valley. And we want to celebrate that. Our 25th Anniversary Party will take place on Sept. 18. Please see our announcement on page 2 for details. We’ll have a great keynote speaker, music and tacos—what else? Join us.
Till next month.