Editorial: Long Islanders need to be mindful

Editorial: Long Islanders need to be mindful

Pixabay photo

We thought that the end was near with the coronavirus, but unfortunately the new Delta variant has people across the country concerned. 

While many people — 68% of New Yorkers ages 18 and older — have been fully vaccinated, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said this week that 21 Long Island zip codes have low vaccination rates. The state will spend $15 million to target these communities in an effort to get more people vaccinated. 

During his press conference on Monday, Cuomo said that new daily cases have been jumping due to the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus. 

Cuomo added that about 75% of adults in the state have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but 25% have not — which is a total of 3.5 million people. Only 0.15% of people in the state who are vaccinated have become infected with the virus.

While things have opened up again, and life seems to be back to normal, the Delta variant can change that quickly. In areas that Cuomo named, which included parts of Rocky Point, Miller Place, Selden, Port Jefferson Station and Lake Grove, the $15 million funding from the state budget will be used to strengthen communication, expand public education and enhance ongoing outreach efforts throughout diverse communities.

But that isn’t enough. 

The fact that so many people are choosing not to get vaccinated, and who are not being careful in doing so, is concerning. We understand that there are people who have extreme health issues that prevent them from getting the jab, and we respect that. We understand that everyone has the right to choose to be vaccinated, but when there is a public health crisis that has taken the lives of so many innocent people, how could one not choose to get the shot? 

There is a lot of false information out there, and it’s sad to see that no one trusts science anymore. What happened to March 2020 when everyone was in this together? Why did something like a shot to prevent getting sick become so polarizing? Why are people fighting in supermarkets if they choose to wear a mask for protection, and someone who is anti-mask disagrees? 

Of all the new and recent COVID-19 cases statewide, 72% come from the Delta variant. Don’t we want to get back to normal? Weddings are finally allowed to include more than 50 people. Meetings are in-person again. We have a lot to look forward to, and it would be so disappointing to fall back to where we were last year because of fear or misinformation. 

Protect yourself. Protect your friends and family. This can be prevented.