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Letter to the Editor: Now isn’t the time to let our guard down

To the Editor,

I am a mother and a nurse practitioner, and I feel strongly about preventing further spread of the COVID-19 virus in Beaufort County. I have worked as hard as I can all year to educate my family and patients about the value of vaccination and the important role it plays in allowing to return to normal. Our cases are increasing at a rapid rate, mostly due to only 48% of our population being vaccinated. Thank God we live in America, where we all have the opportunity to get this lifesaving vaccine when others are begging for it. I cannot bear to see another person refuse vaccination, only to end up in the hospital or worse.

The first issue I have is with the school board’s decision not to require unvaccinated teachers to wear masks. Our children under 12 have not been afforded the privilege of vaccination, and it is irresponsible to allow unvaccinated teachers and staff to care for children without masks. This guidance is supported by the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics. I strongly agree that learning should take place in-person, and we are in a very different situation from last school year when no vaccine was available and teachers were resisting returning to the classroom out of concern for their own safety. Today there should be no excuse.

Secondly, the uproar about private companies requiring vaccination is insincere and hypocritical. As we are reminded frequently when the shoe is on the other foot, private businesses can make any requirement they want for their employees as long as it is not contrary to law. Preventing loss of profits due to increased sick days has always been a significant concern for many employers.

Finally, what is most worrying is when some of my fellow health care providers, despite all the evidence that vaccines are safe and effective, dig in their heels and put themselves and their patients in danger. I appreciate all the medical facilities stepping up and requiring vaccinations for their staffs. We should expect that the people caring for our sick loved ones are not transmitting a deadly virus.

Now is not the time to let our guard down. I will continue to pray for God’s healing powers to heal this nation.

Elizabeth Manning

Bath