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All 50 states are now reporting COVID-19 surges as the super-contagious delta variant runs rampant — primarily among the unvaccinated. I could go on and on … but my words are insignificant compared to the words of others, experts and health care workers, and those who are paying a stiff price for not having been vaccinated.

Why get a shot? 

“The Kaiser Family Foundation recently analyzed much of the state-reported data and found that breakthrough cases, hospitalizations and deaths are extremely rare events among those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The rate of breakthrough cases reported among those fully vaccinated is ‘well below 1 percent in all reporting states, ranging from 0.01 percent in Connecticut to 0.29 percent in Alaska,’ according to the Kaiser analysis.” — New York Times, Aug. 3, 2021.

“The Kaiser Family Foundation analysis also found that more than 90% of cases — and more than 95% of hospitalizations and deaths — have been among unvaccinated people. In most states, more than 98% of cases were among the unvaccinated.” — CNN, Aug. 2, 2021.

“As Kentucky — and the country — begin to chart a path through the latest COVID-19 resurgence, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are doing their part to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. One of those is Kentucky’s U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, who began airing radio ads — paid for with campaign funds — encouraging residents in the commonwealth to get their COVID-19 shots. The ads hit more than 100 radio stations across Kentucky last week. The spots from the U.S. Senate’s highest-ranking Republican draw on his experience as a child that contracted polio and the years it took to develop a vaccine.” — WKLY, Louisville, Kentucky.

“One-third of all U.S. Covid-19 cases reported in the past week were in just two states — Florida and Texas — in fact, seven states with the lowest vaccination rates represent just about 8-1/2% of the U.S. population, but account for more than 17% of cases, and one in three cases nationwide occurred in Florida and Texas this past week.”  – White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients.

The saddest part of this delta variant surge is that it was all preventable. As millions of vaccine doses expire from lack of interest and vaccine hesitancy, people are being hospitalized and are dying at rates similar to the peak of the pandemic last year. Many of these are younger, otherwise healthy people who just didn’t think they were going to be infected.

“This surge was preventable. Unfortunately, it takes dying loved ones begging their family members to get vaccinated. Some people are starting to listen.” – Maureen Miller, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University.

“It is heart-wrenching to see unvaccinated individuals come into the hospital with regret. If they could do it all over again, they would have had the vaccine in a second.” Dr. Ryan Dare, infectious diseases physician, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

“My patients have begged me for the vaccine at the end of their lives. I hold their hand and tell them that I’m sorry, but it’s too late. They cry. And they tell me they didn’t know. They thought it was a hoax. They thought it was political. They thought because they had a certain blood type or a certain skin color they wouldn’t get as sick. They thought it was ‘just the flu.’ But they were wrong. And they wish they could go back. But they can’t.” — Dr. Brytney Cobia, physician at Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

And finally, Michael Freedy, a 38-year-old father of five from Las Vegas, died last week from complications arising from COVID-19. He sent his finaceé Jessica DuPreeze a text message from his hospital bed that ended up being his last words: “I should have gotten the damn vaccine.”

John’s new CD, After The Storm, is available now at his shows and wherever you get your streaming or downloads. www.facebook.com/john.bartus

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