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Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
August 5, 2021     Bath County News - Outlook
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August 5, 2021

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8 - August 05, 2021 OPINIONS The opinion page does not reflect the views of the KyNewsGroup. By Cecil Lawson twas somew at eartemng back at the end of June to look at one of those incident rate maps of Kentucky and not see' the entire state colored in red. I’ve seen the color red for far, far too long over the past year. Earlier this year, when the COVID-19 vaccines were first made available to the public, things got off to a slow start in the Eastern part of the state. At first it was the availability, but within several weeks, it was almost as easy to get as our region’s other favorite con— trolled substances. Once it was available in large quantities, in a wide va- riety of locations, public health officials began talking about “vaccine hesitancy.” Now, this week, with the world trying to “return to nor- mal,” with school getting ready to start, I’ve watched public health maps of the United States and of Kentucky begin to turn red again. You see, the longer the SARS-COV-Z virus remains within the population, the more opportunities it has to mutate. Since it first appeared in Janu- ary 2020 (and was probably around earlier than that), there have been multiple mutations, each one slightly different, the British variant, the South Afri- can variant, the Brazilian vari- ant, and now, the Delta variant, which has turned out to be the most infectious one so far and with more negative health problems. Who knows what might come next. The fact is, as a nation, we had this coronavirus on the run at the end of June, but it was not to be. Politics, con- spiracy theories, and just plain stubbornness made sure that it would be hanging around DIMMING OF THE LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL for a while longer, making more people sick, disrupting our lives yet again, and putting more of our loved ones in the ground. The utter disregard a broad swath of the population seems to have when it comes to sim- ple public health measures — wearing a mask, washing your hands, avoiding big crowds, and getting a couple of shots — tells me a couple of things. First, convenience matters more than health and safety. ’Ihose people want what they Want, and they want it now. They don’t have time for this mask foolishness, no time for squirt of hand sanitizer, no time to schedule an appoint- ment for the vaccine. Each of them is a freight train barrel— ing down the tracks, and they cannot seem to slow it down. Second, politics matters more than the common good. Numerous surveys conducted this year have shown that the divide between the vaccinated and unvaccinated mirrors the division between Democrats and Republicans in our coun- try, and between those who didn’t vote for Donald Trump in November 2020, and those who did. What amazes me even more than this are the seeming number of intelligent, even educated people who cling to untrue beliefs and outland- ish conspiracy theories about ' the vaccines and vaccination efforts. Eastern Kentucky, which has one of the largest populations of people with pre- ventable health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, has suddenly become concerned about “what they put into their bodies” when it comes to the vaccine. People who I’ve heard complain about government red tape and too many regulations are now sud- denly concerned that the FDA “hasn’t done enough testing” on the vaccines available. Or people who seemingly don’t have a problem with “I scratch your back-you scratch my back” politics in their everyday lives are suddenly concerned about someone gaining politi- cal advantage because of the vaccination efforts. And the uncertainty about the origins of the coronavirus, whether in an open air food market in Wu- han, China, or from the Wuhan Virus Research Lab, had led far too many people to become absolutely certain in their knowledge of geopolitics and the various supposed cabals of scientists and politicians com- plicit in “spreading” the virus around the world, in order for governments to get more “con- trol” over you. As a reporter, I’m used to dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis. I know the truth is out there somewhere, but I also know that I may never ful- ly grasp it. It doesn’t lead me to live in fear, or give in to idle speculation, or want to hitch my wagon to someone who claims to have all the answers. I am aware there is sometimes a big gap between the details provided in statements of pub- lic officials and the details peo- ple on the ground may know, but that doesn’t damage my trust; I have just learned to be more discerning. I say all this because that’s what we all need when it comes to confronting, and ultimately getting a handle: on, the coro- navirus. Most of the public health advice rendered so far isn’t hard to understand, and its not contradictory. Yes, our knowledge of the coronavirus has grown in leaps and bounds since January 2020, and we know have vaccines that can bring it to a halt But the prob- lem is, too many people don’t trust with discernment. I only wish people would turn the same distrust and scrutiny to the conspiracy theories and their stubborn? ness before more of our fellow citizens have to get sick and maybe die. Darvin’s Small Engine Repair HOURS: Mon. Thru Fri. 8:00 am 6:00 pm 0 Sat. 8:00 am Noon - Closed Sunday CLOSED DAILY 12:00 pm '- 1:00 pm for lunch $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$if {-19 RETIREMENT" ARE YOU RETIRING OR HAVE YOU RETIRED? IS YOUR MONEY WORKING FOR YOU OR OTHER PEOPLE? DO YOU NEED AN INCOME WITHOUT TOUCHING THE ‘ PRINCIPLE? 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