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Letter: Being vaccinated is act of compassion

NBC News reported on June 3rd that the United States had surpassed the grim milestone of 600,000 COVID-19 deaths. While it may be statistically insignificant amidst such massive numbers, I think it is worth noting that, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 330 American children had tragically died of the disease as of June 10. Thirty-seven of these children were under the age of five.

This pandemic is now the third deadliest event in American history. It is estimated that over 700,000 Americans died during the Civil War and 650,000 perished during the flu epidemic of 1918.

Unfortunately the current pandemic is far from over. Worldwide, COVID-19 has already claimed more lives this year than in all of 2020. While many Americans refuse to be vaccinated and often rage on social media over threats to their personal freedom, much of the world is without access to vaccinations and can only dream of being so fortunate.

Meanwhile, as the crisis grows in the impoverished nations of the world, new variants are being spawned, which may possibly be even more contagious and deadly than those which we have already experienced. Surely more will follow if left unchecked. The Delta variant, which has caused horrific outbreaks of sickness and death in India, is now here in North Carolina. Being vaccinated is not just an act of personal protection, but it is the way to end this period of pain and grief that we have all been living through. In fact, it is an act of compassion and love.

— Keith Townsend

Mount Ulla

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