Whether for fun or in an emergency, imagine jumping free from a flying airplane. You’re high above the ground and moving at a fast rate. Stop! Do you first put on a parachute, or simply take a chance you won’t be hurt or killed in the fall?

Odds are you’d wear protection, right? So why, then, do many people continue to ignore vaccination against the deadly COVID-19 virus running rampant once again? It’s like jumping without a ‘chute. The pandemic that’s so far infected and sickened millions, and killed more than 611,000 Americans, is for real, and vaccination the best means of defense. Yet in Bucks County right now, just 48.8 percent of the population has received a full vaccination, while 50.5 percent have done so in Montgomery County.

Until the great majority of us strap on the pandemic parachute that is a vaccination drug, this public health crisis will continue. Don’t like mandates including wearing a mask? Then stop the proliferation and roll up your sleeve for a free shot. This pandemic will continue, and, in fact, might never cease and become an endemic disease -- one that is always a part of our environment no matter what is done. Like influenza. You get a winter flu shot, right?

“We’ve been told that this virus will disappear, but it will not,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and medical director, the National Foundation for Infectious Disease. “We need to control it. We need to diminish its impact. But it’s going to be around hassling us for the foreseeable future. And by that I mean years.”

COVID-19 data was improving but now is on the rise locally, where already 1,335 have died from it in Bucks and 1,741 in Montgomery. Countless have been sickened by it; many hospitalized and put on respirators. Nationally, COVID-19 cases are surging and now total more than 35 million. And it ain’t politics -- Florida and California lead the way.

Controlling COVID-19 and diminishing its impact begins with a united front -- that is, all should forget the bogus stories and crazy conspiracy theories, and get vaccinated. Don’t jump without a ‘chute.

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