Use Common Sense - 27 East


Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1807956

Use Common Sense

I’m not sure what your editorial “Our Best Hope” [August 12] was trying to say by claiming we prematurely declared victory and threw our masks away. This is disingenuous at best and totally goes against the science and conditions we are presently in.

Thank goodness that our nation as a whole has overwhelmingly vaccinated the most vulnerable of our population, the elderly. By vaccinating this group, we will never have the deaths associated with this virus that we saw in the past, and most likely will reduce its killing velocity to no more than what seasonal flu is.

Assuming masks are the reason we can reduce the spread of this virus goes against all that we have learned. It’s estimated that during the largest outbreak in the Northeast last fall New York was at a 98 percent mask compliance, and yet the spread did not halt. Not to say masks don’t have a place in preventing the spread — but clearly they are not the panacea regarding this virus and the continued variants.

This is a virus that will not and is not going away, and living within the means and getting the most vulnerable vaccinated is the key. This new variant is on its way north, and nothing we do will change that. Our continued high vaccination rate should reduce its totality, but draconian lockdowns don’t work. Australia is in its sixth such lockdown. We don’t need further lockdowns or canceling school and making our lives even more miserable.

Let individuals and individual businesses decide if they want to wear masks and make their own decisions. Let’s continue to encourage all to get vaccinated, while at the same time preserving civil liberties, along with a common sense approach.

Forcing those of us who have been vaccinated to continue to wear masks creates distrust that helps lend credence to those who are already fearful of such vaccinations. We don’t need more doubt to seep into the debate. We are already seeing a renewed interest to get vaccinated from those skeptics, and that’s a good thing — positive messaging works over negativity and cultural bashing. Build on the confidence that a healthy vaccinated public creates, despite politicians playing the blame game for political gain.

Americans will always resist state coercion, but they also embrace common sense approaches to problem-solving and are results oriented. Hope for me always springs eternal, but hope is not a plan nor a strategy and usually results in disillusionment, confusion and ultimately failure.

Thomas M. Jones

Sag Harbor