About four months ago, I had dinner with my partner at a local restaurant in Taos. One of the owners was waiting tables and sat with us afterwards. During the conversation, we shared that we had been fully vaccinated that week and asked her if she and her husband had been. She said, "No."
When asked why, she recited information from the internet, known to be untrue, which was causing her to be afraid. We spent 10 minutes sharing facts about COVID-19 and the vaccines with her.
On a recent Monday, I went to the restaurant and asked whether the owners of the restaurant had been vaccinated. The maître d' began raising her voice and the owner showed up who I had spoken with. In front of tables full of people eating lunch, that person began yelling at me and threatened to call the police. They yelled at me to never come back as I returned to my car.
I believe that we have a responsibility to those we care about and to our community to protect each other from the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientific evidence and factual information indicate that getting vaccinated greatly reduces incidence of the virus, especially the more contagious Delta variant.
In states where greater numbers of people have been vaccinated, there are less cases of infection and death from COVID-19. In states where people have resisted taking the vaccine, the epidemic is increasing. How much clearer can it be?
If anyone in this community feels a sense of responsibility to our children, elders, women, and men, it is time to make sure you have been vaccinated. For people who run businesses in this town and think they can show blatant disregard for the health of our community while reaping financial gain, all in the name of personal freedom, lacks real care for our community.
Thomas French lives in Taos.