Letter: Everyone has to play their part for life to return to normal

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To the editor,

Lately, we have been hearing a lot about supporting and helping each other. As citizens, we are encouraged to do our part to help rid ourselves of the danger of COVID-19. However, it now seems that many people are failing to act and be vaccinated. I know the recent Johnson & Johnson “pause” scared a lot of people. I also know that everyone has the right to make a determination for themselves.

I agree with many of the doctors who appear on the news programs when they say the vaccine is safe and the benefits outweigh the risks. The news media concentrates on the bad side of just about every story. They talk about the more than 570,000 people who have died but they fail to remind us that the population of the U.S. is 332,590,277 as of April 27, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data (www.worldometers.info), and that 332,020,277 of us are still here and still alive.

I know that any death is traumatic for those who lose a loved one. We all lose someone as our lives progress and the reason for those deaths is rarely publicized as the COVID pandemic deaths have been.

According the Healthline, every year in the U.S. 647,000 people die from heart disease. In 2019, 599,601 people died from cancer. No mention of these statistics is ever made on the nightly news and no graph of these facts is ever made to show where these people died. No video of overworked health care workers is made of these deaths for public consumption.

COVID-19 is only the third leading cause of death in the U.S. But the good news is that there is a vaccine and prevention is possible! Dr. Ashish Jha Dean of Brown University School of Public Health has been a strong supporter of the vaccine. Most of us know Dr. Anthony Faucci, but there are other leading health experts who also support and advise everyone to be vaccinated.

Mayor Neil O’Leary of Waterbury previously remarked on a local news broadcast that there are about 1,500 transplant patients in Connecticut. At the time, he was suggesting that transplant patients who have very compromised immune systems be put to the front of the line for the vaccine. While that never happened, I happen to be one of those transplant patients and I was also eligible because of my age. I never worried about the vaccine. I signed up and had my first dose on Feb. 13. I wasn’t given any preferential treatment. I just wanted to get this thing over with.

Everyone says they want life to “return to normal” as we once knew it, but this isn’t going to happen until everyone plays their part. As for me, I just want the face masks to go away. I don’t want to have to keep wearing them because of those who refuse to be vaccinated. I don’t want to keep seeing faceless people either in public or on the news.

If people want life to return to normal, they need to stand up and support each other. Perhaps people will experience a minor side effect of the vaccine like sore muscles or a headache or maybe even spots on their face but those go away. Not getting the vaccine can result in death. That never goes away.

Patricia Zappone

Prospect