COVID is no laughing matter. Columnist Kathleen Parker suggests her readers respect the millions who chose not to get vaccinated (“Get vaccine, respect those who don’t,” The Columbian, Jan. 1). She believes injecting a bit of COVID levity into our lives “is good for the body and soul.”
It’s hard to take a “humorous look” at the past two years and coming year, knowing the U.S. is projected to exceed 55,000,000 reported infections and 1,000,000 deaths from COVID. Our nation — with 4.5 percent of the world’s population — accounts for 19 percent of the worldwide infections and 15 percent of the deaths. There’s nothing funny about that.
It is laughable that those Don’t-Tread-On-Me “patriots” who believe it is their “right” to risk dying of a scourge like COVID-19 by refusing the vaccine, masks, social distancing and mandates. In doing so, they may be endangering their immediate families. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 163,000 deaths could have been avoided since June 2021 by vaccinations. Also consider the stress and effect their intransigence has had on the front-line health care workers and hospitals who care for them.
Some folks may be laughing. However, the joke will be on them if they must deal personally with the wrath of COVID.