I, much like Asa Hutchinson, the Governor of Arkansas, am not ready to accede that we have lost the covid-19 battle in Arkansas.
For one thing, that would be a financial battle far too costly for our state as a whole and any family individually -- if we do not take every precaution to quell this covid-19 epidemic resurgence.
My mask is back in my pocket, and before I enter a large, busy store, building or place of many persons unknown to me -- on it goes.
If that offends you, well, too bad.
I am wearing a mask to stop the spread of the pandemic.
And if you think about it, you should as well.
I have had my two vaccine shots, taken at the proper intervals. I was glad to do so, waited in line until my segment of the population was allowed to take the vaccine.
And I am hoping that each and every reader of these words has done the same.
But if not, here is my suggestion: Get vaccinated.
You need to protect yourself from these other variants of what we knew was the first covid-19 infection.
If you do not want to take the shot for political reasons, not health reasons, you really need to rethink your position.
This is not about political loyalties to any leader, elected or not-elected last November. It should be about you, your family and those whom you love in the community you call home.
Why not take the shot? That is the bigger question. If you can justify that you believe any of the million crazy, bizarre reasons -- like it has a GPS chip in the shot, or it will give you the covid-19 infection -- you really need someone in charge of your daily affairs, because as a reasonable human you are making a decision not based upon your personal health and the health and well being of those around you -- but some crazy social media posting.
I challenge you to find any of these theories, in print, that are quoting for attribution any known physician, scientist or health official.
Again, these crazy reasons are so crazy no one is willing to put them to print for fear they will be disproven.
There are no books written in the past 18 months saying not to take the vaccine -- not one.
Do you have at your disposal what could be between $200,000 to a $1 million or more, to pay for a hospital stay in the ICU to try to treat you? Even then you can, for the rest of your days on this planet, resume breathing with or without a canister of oxygen trailing behind you as you learn to walk again.
And how many of you want to stand over an open hole of a cemetery plot or a columbarium for the cremated remains of your loved one, another family member or a neighbor, knowing you helped spread the infection that brought about their death?
A $20 lottery scratcher and a $20 coupon to hunt and fish in the state for one year, I admit, were "weak" incentives from our state government.
If Gov. Hutchinson really wanted those on the far right to come out for an incentive, he should have given away shotguns, handguns or other types of firearms in a lottery drawing. Give away a shotgun a week for 10 weeks or something like that.
Or, how about this, no personal property taxes for a year -- in a lottery for those going to be vaccinated.
But the only incentive a reasonable person can make is to take the vaccine to save lives -- their lives and the lives of others, despite the dangers and the political pressures.
That's what the Greatest Generation did back then.
Too bad, this new generation of Arkansans -- at least a solid 30 percent of our state -- seems unwilling to make the sacrifice of taking a shot for others.
Get the vaccine.
Maylon Rice is a former journalist who worked for several northwest Arkansas publications. He can be reached via email at [email protected] Opinions expressed are those of the author.