‘No COVID patients reported.”

“Emergency mandate restrictions lifted.”

The headlines have been filling our front page in recent days, with good tidings. We are back to normal. Almost. Maybe.

Don’t relax your guard just yet, though. The combination of fast-spreading, highly contagious variants of the original COVID-19 virus and a vexing anti-vaccine attitude among far too many people leaves us on the edge of the danger zone.

We all know the good news. Frederick Health Hospital announced before the Fourth of July weekend that it had no patients being treated for COVID for the first time in more than a year. At the peak in January, it had 72 patients. Nearly 20,000 people in the county have had the disease, and 332 of them have died.

But the Alive @ Five concerts resumed last week and drew a warm and appreciative crowds to Carroll Creek. The same was true for the Fourth of July fireworks, which moved from Baker Park to the fairgrounds.

Our state marked a significant milestone on July 1, which was the beginning of the end of the state of emergency declared by Gov. Larry Hogan last spring. Most mandates and restrictions expired, including the statewide mask order.

The pandemic has infected more than 450,000 people in the state and killed almost 10,000. These are numbers that would have been inconceivable 18 months ago.

But the bad news is building up just as swiftly, and we here in Maryland and Frederick dare not to be blasé.

The Washington Post reported this week that new studies on the swiftly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus highlights threats posed by viral mutations.

A French study found that the delta variant can evade some of the neutralizing antibodies produced by vaccines or by a natural infection. A single shot of a two-dose vaccine “barely” offers any protection, but fully vaccinated people should retain significant protection against the delta variant.

Concerns are growing globally about a resurgence of the coronavirus. On Thursday, the Japanese prime minister declared a state of emergency because of fast-rising infections, and organizers of the Tokyo Olympic Games moved to bar spectators from all events held in and around Tokyo.

Many Maryland counties, including Frederick, have a large percentage of the population fully vaccinated. In our county, it is 57 percent, which is right at the average for the whole state and fourth best in Maryland. Only Howard, at 66 percent, Montgomery at 62 percent and Talbot at 58 percent are better protected.

But a lot of counties are considerably worse. In Somerset County on the Eastern Shore, only 36 percent of the residents are fully vaccinated, and in Garrett County in Western Maryland, it is just 38 percent. Twelve counties are at less than 50 percent.

That leaves a lot of Marylanders vulnerable. Hundreds of people are still dying of COVID every day, and 99.5 percent of them were not vaccinated.

A safe and effective vaccine is available to protect you from the deadly disease, but many people just refuse to take it. Sadly, a lot of it has to do not with science but with politics.

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released July 4 showed 47 percent of Republicans said they are unlikely to get the vaccine, with 38 percent of them saying they will definitely not get shots. Republican governors in Arkansas and Utah, where cases are soaring and hospitals are full, are pleading with residents to get vaccinated.

Vaccination is an individual decision, of course, but people who refuse to be vaccinated are not only putting themselves at risk, they are endangering their family, friends and community. It is a profoundly selfish decision.

They are also inflicting a huge cost on the rest of us, who have to help pay for their health care. Hospitalizations can last for days or weeks, even if the patient recovers.

If you know someone who refuses to be vaccinated, you should talk to them, argue with them, even nag them if necessary. The delta variant won’t be the last, and if even more dangerous new viruses are permitted to spread through large populations, we could see a resurgence, even here in Maryland.

Do the right thing. Get the shot.

(30) comments

Brookhawk

My friend's unvaccinated son got COVID a couple weeks ago and died a few days ago. My friend is devastated. Don't get a shot - maybe make your mother cry her eyes out. It's your "right."

Reader

If you want the vaccine, get it. If you don't, don't. Everyone gets to make that decision for themselves and it may include beliefs, health status, risk factors, etc. I find it interesting that people think they can make this decision for someone else.

gabrielshorn2013

If it were only that simple reader. It's not like choosing to buy or not buy strawberries at Wegmans, where neither choice has a health downside. If it only affected the person that refuses to be vaccinated through either ignorance or stubbornness, then fine. It doesn't. There is a deliberate effort to disseminate misinformation about the vaccine and the virus (A&A is the prime offender in this forum). Add to that the fact that it is within the uninoculated where the virus keeps spreading and mutating. The current "delta variant" is much more transmissible than previous variants, and the timeline from initial infection to hospitalization or death is shorter. Eventually, there may be a variant that the current vaccines do not protect against, and when that happens, we're all in for a world of hurt. We'll be starting over to develop new therapies, and the cost to our healthcare system will be tremendous.

Reader

I disagree that "ignorance or stubbornness" are the only two possibilities for those who make the informed choice not to take this vaccine. There is a risk/benefit analysis that everyone has the right to make for themselves. There are people (I am one of them) for whom the vaccine is more dangerous than COVID, per my physician. No one should be shamed into taking a non-FDA approved vaccine if they do not feel it is the right thing for them. And if people DO want to get the vaccine, then that is OK as well.

gabrielshorn2013

More information for A&A:

Covid-19 vaccines saved nearly 280,000 lives in the US, new research estimates

CNN — Covid-19 vaccines saved hundreds of thousands of lives and prevented more than a million hospitalizations in the United States, according to new estimates from researchers at Yale University and the Commonwealth Fund.

The researchers compared actual trends in Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths against a modeled trajectory of what those trends would have been if there had been no vaccinations.

By the end of June, the researchers estimate that there would have been about 279,000 additional deaths due to Covid-19 – about 46% more than there were – and as many as 1.25 million additional hospitalizations if there were no vaccinations. And if vaccinations had progressed at half the pace that they did, about 121,000 more people may have died and more than 450,000 more would have been hospitalized

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/08/health/covid-vaccinations-prevent-deaths-hospitalizations/index.html

Oh, that's right...Yale and the rest of the scientific community are in on the conspiracy to have the illuminati take over the world, as QAnon would have you believe.

gabrielshorn2013

Well, it looks like A&A tried to post more antivaxxer QAnon nonsense, but it didn't get through the mods. Thank you mods!!! For those questioning what is in the vaccines, here is a link to a lost of ingredients to all three. No secret at all, and no "graphene oxide" as A&A tried to claim. By law, manufacturers must provide the complete list of ingredients and their concentrations to FDA when filing an application to conduct clinical trials.

"https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html#Appendix-C"

You can get the complete information here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines/Pfizer-BioNTech.html

The example she tried to give as an example of someone that died after getting the jab was anecdotal, at best. A&A does not know the difference between correlation and causation. Yes, the woman died, but where is the evidence that it was caused by the vaccine? There was no published cause of death in any reports. Let's wait on the coroners report before we start going of on tangents, OK? However, does she realize that there is a commonality between the 600,000 that have already died in the US, and the 99.2% of those that continue to die from CoViD-19? They were, and are not vaccinated. So far over 170 MILLION people have been vaccinated, with negligible side effects, and negligible breakthrough rate. As Three said, this is an unprecedented safety and efficacy rate. Please refer to reliable and accurate data from official sources, not some QAnon "barn full of BS" source with zero knowledge or expertise.

newspostreader

Thanks to those who actually took the steps to get the vaccine. As with many things you have one group of people who do the right thing and those who didn't get to benefit from it. Sort of like paying taxes.

Reader

"Right" is relative. It is NOT right for me to get the vaccine. It may be right for someone else. We should respect everyone's personal medical decisions and not judge what is right for someone else.

Comment deleted.
Greg F

At what point will FNP stop posting Artie's nonsense and bull$h1t fake news? Needs to happen. Get with it FNP.[ban]

sevenstones1000

What’s missing from this article is the current data that 99.2% of people who are now dying from Covid are unvaccinated. It looks like there will be fewer Republican voters next Election Day. Fair enough.

That's why I think we will sweep the 2022 midterms...even with all this voter suppression that's going on....I mean if no one wants to stay around long enough to vote??? Bye Bye Felicia ..........

Reader1954

guess I'm an idiot then

olefool

Reader: Appears so....

Greg F

...an idiot's idiot. If you have no legitimate medical reason that a doctor would agree with to prevent a vaccine....yes, indeed....you are an idiot. Religious excuses included...how many faithful prayed and prayed yet died or had loved ones die that didn't get the vaccine and their god did nothing but remain AWOL? Enough to show clearly there is no god that cares enough to get up off his/her/its keister and help. So...you go on being an idiot, and I go on not caring if you get sick as a dog and need an undertaker or a bankruptcy court to pay your bills for your stupidity.

shiftless88

Reader; good job spotting that one!

threecents

Reader, That consistently seems to be your choice, but you can still change.

TheBackburner

And a bad person. Do better.

Comment deleted.

Also Art you seemed to have forgotten to post the source from which you obtained your info from?

It seems I may have misinterpreted your data to fit my agenda. Did I do that? If so please feel free to correct me, you owe me for all times I corrected you.

Comment deleted.

Art

You have a bachelors degree, get outta here, what exactly is your area of expertise? I couldn’t tell if it was you, you were talking about or the person in your post that has this expertise?

I apologize I didn’t read your comments more carefully before but I see my response still applies ?

Oh how read this that you are actually advocating for the vaccine, because when someone gets covid they can rack up astronomical hospital bills and maybe die? And it is the rest of us that are paying for hospitalizations that hopefully the patient recovers from, oh yeah there are those pesky COVID side effects that may never go away, so yeah me I’m so glad I have vaccine and I’m looking forward to my booster shot, they are meeting about that tomorrow so stay tuned Art!

Comment deleted.
Comment deleted.
olefool

So Art, wasn't it Trump's idea to "warp speed" these vaccinations??? Are you reneging on your minion like adherence to all things Trump??? So, pray tell what now makes it so easy for you to DUMP TRUMP these days in these pages??? I read recently that "no person in Maryland has died who received the vaccinations", and a new surge of variants is upon us.. A friendly(?) suggestion: GET INOCULATED....

Piedmontgardener

If you aren't vaccinated and you have no conditions that preclude it, you are an idiot.

Comment deleted.
threecents

Art, I must warn you that microbiology is actually my field and Gabe's field. And you are completely wrong about the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines. Millions of people have been vaccinated with unusually rare serious side effects and with unprecedented success as far as disease protection goes. These vaccines are an unprecedented success, so for you and your likeminded 38% of Republicans to deny these truths is... consistent with your usual crazy.

Comment deleted.

Art

at this point you can post all the nonsense you want to about the vaccines (people are either convinced that they want to live or convinced they would prefer to die)...if you can live with yourself knowing that you are probably responsible for a few deaths or maybe more, then carry on. At this point the data is in, I'm going to live through this horrible awful pandemic and you may not and the people you have convinced not to get the vaccine will not live through this pandemic either...the pandemic is far from over. But if you can live with yourself and what you are doing that's on your conscious and you will have to face the consequences of your actions sooner or later. but do carry on.....Art

Is everyone clear on how the Rapture is supposed to work? The heathens like myself (who did indeed get her vaccination) are supposed to be the ones that are swooped off the earth, however the heathens like myself are just fine with this reverse Rapture that seems to be happening right before our eyes, Who knew this Bible jibber jabber was actually true? Not me..LOL But it's obvious that people that read their bibles didn't read their bibles...oh well, going to work out well for us heathens though..

Dwasserba

You might want to re-check that Bible story.

Comment deleted.
threecents

Here's a good explanation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWV4BodNQeM

Comment deleted.
gabrielshorn2013

Oh jeez, here we go again. By choosing not to get an unapproved-by-the-FDA, *experimental* shot filled with many questionable,mystery-ingredients, I'm endangering family, friends & community who DO choose to take this so-called "vaccine"?? This does not make sense.

A&S, as I asked you earlier, what is still missing for the current vaccines under EUA (Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and J&J) to be approved? Their clinical trial cohort populations were ten times larger than most formally licensed (a.k.a. “approved”) drugs currently on the market. The number of adverse events related to the vaccine are extremely small, and lower than most “approved” drugs on the market (do not reach back to the VAERS system that you claim to have knowledge about. ANYONE can file a VAERS report, whether they have truly received any of the vaccines or not. If you read the VAERS system landing page, you would know that). What components of any of the CoViD vaccines are “mystery”? Clue: none! The identity and concentration of each and every component is given in the Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Controls (CMC) section of the Investigational New Drug (IND) application (for phase 1, 2, and 3 clinical trials), as well as the Biologics License Application (BLA) for licensed drugs. The requirements are the same. Therefore, FDA and CDC are well-aware of the vaccine formulations. What healthcare costs, other than the cost of vaccination (about $40/person for the vaccine plus administrative costs) is being “inflicted” on the rest of us? Other than the negligibly small of adverse events (AE), and a negligibly small breakthrough rate (a vaccinated person still gets the disease), there is none. However, the people still getting sick from the SARS-CoV-2 infection (a.k.a. CoViD-19) are all unvaccinated! What does that tell you? It should say “get the shot or potentially get sick and die”. The latest “D variant” is even more virulent. As for your credentials from UMUC and so-called “expertise”, this is my professional area of expertise. Please stop your deep breathing in the barn full of BS known as QAnon. It’s not good for your, or others health.. (with a nod to three).

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