Brunswick News. August 27, 2021.
Editorial: Vaccination rate is still too low along the coast
We have great respect for the men and women who step up to the plate and answer the call to serve in the Georgia National Guard. The Guard does exemplary work when they are deployed, but if the Guard is being sent to your area, 99.9% of the time it’s not because things are going well.
That is unfortunately the case for Glynn County amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. This surge, caused largely by the more contagious delta variant of COVID-19, has put an incredible strain on the health workers at Southeast Georgia Health System.
As of Wednesday, the hospital was treating 163 COVID-19 positive inpatients between its Brunswick and Camden hospitals — 132 at the Brunswick campus and 31 at the Camden location in St. Marys.
To help out the hospital workers who are working tirelessly on the frontlines fighting this disease, Gov. Brian Kemp is deploying Guard members with medical training to various hospitals in the state. That includes reinforcements for the health system.
We appreciate the governor’s decision to provide some relief for the doctors, nurses and other staff who continue the show their dedication during such a perilous time. What makes us feel forlorn, however, is that such an order was even necessary.
Earlier this summer, it felt like we were finally at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. The number of new COVID cases was very low. The day all of us prayed for last year finally came as COVID-19 vaccines became available to the public.
Unfortunately, the vaccine rate remains too low in Glynn and Camden counties. As of Wednesday, only 42% of the population in Glynn County has received the COVID-19 vaccine. That number is even lower in Camden, which has a vaccination rate of 31.6%.
The vaccine hesitancy is difficult to understand in light of the facts. Dr. Alan K. Brown, chief medical officer for the health system’s Brunswick hospital, told the Kiwanis Club on Monday that the recent surge has been the most devastating on those who aren’t vaccinated. Brown said that 88 percent of those hospitalized with COVID-19 in the Brunswick hospital were not vaccinated. Of the 50 patients on ventilators, only one was vaccinated. Those numbers are hard to ignore.
One excuse for those hesitant to get the vaccine was recently eliminated as the Food and Drug Administration gave its first full approval of a COVID-19 vaccine to the Pfizer version. The FDA has given emergency use approval to the vaccines currently on the market. Now there is one with full approval with more likely to get that status soon.
If you are still hesitant to get the vaccine, look back in our history and see what a profound effect these kinds of treatments can have. Polio ravaged millions until a vaccine pretty much eradicated the disease. Inoculations played a huge role in this country securing its freedom from Great Britain’s tyranny as George Washington had his entire army inoculated from smallpox.
We encourage everyone who is of age and medically cleared to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s stop this recent surge before it is too late.
Valdosta Daily Times. August 25, 2021.
Editorial: Booing Trump helps no one, go get vaccinated
Former President Donald J. Trump urged his supporters to get vaccinated.
That’s where we are, and that’s why we are where we are as COVID-19 surges – hospitals are stressed and people are dying.
Trump had COVID-19.
Trump was hospitalized.
Trump was vaccinated before leaving the White House, though he did not do it in public view.
Saturday evening, the former president held a large rally in Cullman, Ala., a town with one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, with only 28% of its residents vaccinated.
The vaccination rate in our community is only 29%.
This time one year ago, 102 people had died at South Georgia Medical Center. A year later, more than 330 virus patients have lost their lives, with more dying every day for the past two weeks.
The vast majority of those who are now in the hospital, the people who are on the ventilator and those who are dying of COVID-19 are unvaccinated. SGMC reports 93% of its hospitalized virus patients are unvaccinated.
While the science tells us that taking one of the three available vaccines is the single most important thing that any of us can do to protect ourselves from serious disease and death, we now know that the vaccinated can spread the virus and that makes it all the more important for more people to get vaccinated immediately.
The delta variant surge has hit our community much harder than anyone ever expected.
This week, the hospital reached a new record high number of COVID-19 patients.
And more people are dying every week.
Also this week, the Pfizer vaccine received full Food and Drug Administration approval, once again confirming it is safe and effective.
Reaching community immunity by having the vast majority of people vaccinated is the only way we beat this thing.
Trump did the right thing when he and his family were vaccinated before leaving the White House, even though he had already contracted COVID-19, was hospitalized, treated and recovered. He was obviously advised that just having had the virus did not protect him.
While in Alabama over the weekend, Trump was right to urge his supporters to get the vaccine.
Now, it is time for them to listen to him and do the right thing.
Go get the vaccine.
Rome News-Tribune. August 28, 2021.
Editorial: Election season is upon us... then again, when is it not these days
It’s actually a pleasure to cover an election that began on the qualifying day and will end on Election Day.
Municipal elections really show how all elections should be.
To all the candidates and those who support those candidates, these next few lines are for you.
Now that qualifying is over, we go into election mode — which can affect the way we cover local news. But the operative principle is fairness.
Where this often gets difficult is with photos. Those running for office begin to show up at a LOT of events. Now, that’s smart for a campaign but for unbiased news coverage, we attempt to not show those candidates in photos or quote them in stories unless they’re operating in an official capacity.
And, of course, we avoid doing stories focusing on a single candidate’s life/activity/pet project.
Regarding incumbents: It’s not always possible to leave them out when they’re carrying out their official duties and sometimes it’s even counterproductive. But we try to limit our coverage to their work only in that official capacity.
If a quote or photo from a different elected official will accomplish the same purpose, we try to use that.
We can’t actively ignore a sitting elected official, but will do our best to not focus on people running for office.
This rule doesn’t apply to those who have declared they’re running for some office or another next year... or the next or the next. With state and federal campaigns now stretching into seemingly decade-long affairs, we just can’t work to exclude everybody.
The incumbent advantage is real, but we do our best to give all the candidates equal weight in our coverage.
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