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We really needed the rain … but did we need that much? I was riding my bike on Route 30 the other day and the ground is so saturated that it was pushing out of the cracks in the road. That’s a lot of water! But other than feeling like a passenger aboard the Titanic on day four of its maiden voyage, how are you enjoying the summer? Some people have got to be feeling like they can’t get a break, and I understand that. After 18 months of COVID, COVID, COVID, then entering into a drought, then flash flooding, it becomes more than some can handle.

Not to worry. We haven’t strayed that far from COVID; all eyes are on the un-vaccinated and the delta variant. For no other reason than information, Vermont is 67 percent fully vaccinated, so that’s good and we’re still pushing. For comparison, New Hampshire is 58 percent, while southern states are hovering in the mid 30s. Last week there were 32,000 cases of COVID each day. That’s up 66 percent from the previous week and 145 percent from two weeks ago, and roughly 250 Americans die each day. Again, that’s all strictly pitching by numbers. What do I mean by “pitching”? I’m making the case, if you haven’t done it already, to get the shot. The hesitancy around getting vaccinated is the lead cause of these deaths and cases.

Let’s rewind to last summer: we were still deep in the throes of the coronavirus and people were still dying in the thousands daily. But! We could get outside and keep physically distanced and have some actual conversation. It was quite the contrast from picking up groceries curbside in hazmat suits and getting home in time to teach our dog Portuguese. We knew that the summer would be easier for those reasons. We had a great series of concerts just over the river; things were feeling stunted, but more normal than the previous six months. So, I guess it goes without saying, we’re really busting out this summer. Huge gatherings are happening; I’m doing my first bike race in two years; it’s starting to feel normal.

Okay, fair warning, I’m about to rain cloud on this. Are we not following the science? I mean, there is this new variant out there that is starting to gain some traction and, honestly, I don’t like it. I think that if you did get both of your shots (or one Johnson & Johnson) you followed the science and you should be okay. But have we completely cast all cares to the wind? We’re Americans; we’re never going to lock ourselves back in our homes again, not without a revolution. After all, we’re that level of entitled. By no means am I suggesting that we should go back to May of 2020, when we were wiping groceries down with rubbing alcohol before we brought them into the house. But would it be too much to ask … if you’re not vaccinated, to get vaccinated?

Again, I’m fully vaccinated so I shouldn’t care, but I do. For many reasons, but mostly I think it’s taking an unnecessary risk with your own life and those you can come in contact with. If you went through the school system in Vermont, then you have been vaccinated. Diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella. There’s one more: polio. It’s the reason we don’t have polio. Mostly it’s the individual states that decide which vaccine you need to go through the school system, but they are all pretty much the same (especially that polio one).

No doubt, viruses like COVID-19 are super scary and the vaccine can also seem super scary. That said, I don’t think it’s scarier than your loved ones watching you slip in and out of consciousness, or what that would feel like if you were suffering that fate. I said this a million times during the height of it, but it’s all about masks. If you refuse to wear one, I respect that to a degree, but at least have the same level of respect to not come near people. That was the science we were working with then, and we haven’t gotten far from, only now you’re easier to identify. Go get your shot, please!

Peter “Fish” Case is a man with an opinion. He offers up a weekly podcast discussion that can be heard at www.theearspoon.com. Questions, compliments and complaints can be sent to him at fish@theearspoon.com. The opinions expressed by columnists do not necessarily reflect the views of the Brattleboro Reformer.