There is a need to get back to normal. We are all in a hurry to return to the way of life we experienced before wearing the masks and social distancing, but that return is being delayed, and now it is imperative that we take the steps and precautions necessary to make a safe reentry.
One of the most important things on our checklist at this point is vaccination. Many have not taken advantage of the opportunity to be vaccinated. That is not due to the lack of opportunity in our city. I want to personally thank those that have made it their mission to provide these opportunities. Area ministers have worked consistently to provide vaccinations to their congregations and the entire city.
With the African American community facing challenges with regard to education about the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the vaccines, it has been beneficial for leaders to step up and provide accurate information. Given the opportunity to be specific in this area, I want to thank Angela Roberson for working closely with area pastors. A few of those pastors have gone the extra mile, including Pastors Barry Dobson, D. L. Hegler and Eugene Farley. The latter two have organized several vaccination opportunities including a Back-to-School Bash Vaccination this evening at New Olive Branch, where Pastor Farley is pastor, and a mobile vaccination at Douglas Chapel later this week, where Pastor Hegler is pastor.
These efforts have proved to give our citizens an easy way to be vaccinated, but they should be servicing a greater number of individuals. Children as young as twelve years of age can now be vaccinated with the approval and presence of a parent or guardian. We should be making sure we are doing all we can to keep our children and ourselves protected. If our children are returning to school and participating in group activities, we should do what is necessary to keep them safe physically and medically.
Whether we make the decision to believe it or not, COVID-19 is not going anywhere any time soon. We can combat it though!
Our state, county and city are way under the percentage required of our population to be vaccinated. The young adult sector is one of the most under vaccinated in our population. This is also the portion of our population that acts as caregivers for our elderly and are parents to our children. Let us take this information into consideration as we look at the numbers of increased hospitalization of COVID patients and unfortunately COVID deaths.
There is no respect of age, race or economic background in the wake of this pandemic. There is also no discrimination in the availability of the vaccination to age, race or economic background. Everyone is susceptible to this virus, but everyone is also privileged to the vaccine.
My plea for our entire population to vaccinated includes everyone taking the time to be educated. This decision is one that will affect more than you individually. Even with that in mind, you still must be educated as it pertains to you personally.
Again, I want to thank those who are continuing to make educating and vaccinating our population possible. Working together is the only way this work together!
Veronica Smith-Creer is the Mayor of El Dorado. She can be reached at [email protected]