Letter to the Editor

Why the need to vax and mask

On Aug. 1, 2021, The New York Times had an online article which said there were 79,763 new cases of COVID-19 in the United States. Countrywide this is an increase of 149% over the last seven days. On a per-capita basis, Cape Girardeau presently has a lower number of cases. But with its increase of 217% over the last seven days, Cape is on track to pull ahead of the national average.

Although rare, there have been a number of instances where vaccinated individuals have contracted the new Delta variant of COVID-19. Medical experts have stressed nearly all people hospitalized with this new variant are unvaccinated; however, because the Delta variant is much more infectious than previous forms of COVID-19, it can break through to some vaccinated people. Individuals with the Delta variant carry tremendous amounts of the virus in their noses and throats. This means the vaccinated may be just as contagious as the unvaccinated. For these reasons it is advisable to both get vaccinated and wear masks in public places.

From this information, the reasons for getting a vaccination and wearing a mask are:

* To protect yourself;

* To protect others. You might be a carrier without getting sick;

* To set an example of being a responsible individual; and

* Our rights end where another person's rights begin. Neither I nor anyone else has the right to put any another individual at risk by refusing to be vaccinated or declining to wear a mask.

JOHN PIEPHO, Cape Girardeau