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We had told the children about the Fair and all there would be to see and do. They were excited about the animals and the rides. Tom and I were excited about experiencing the Fair anew through their eyes.
But then on July 18, two days before our daughter and her family arrived, the number of new COVID cases in Ohio, much lower at the beginning of the month, crept up to 301. The following day the new case count more than doubled. By July 22, the day we'd been planning on going to the County Fair, the new COVID cases in Ohio had spiked up to 822.
We didn't take our grand daughters to the Franklin County Fair. We didn't dare. Tom and I were vaccinated, but our grand daughters weren't. Who knew how many maskless, unvaccinated Delta variant-infected people would be milling among the fair-goers? Who knew how insidiously this infection might be spreading in the crowd?
And then there was to consider the recent phenomenon of an uptick in break-through infections from the unvaccinated to the vaccinated.
It's aggravating that we, the vaccinated, still have to worry about the COVID epidemic because, in this country overflowing with a bounty of vaccine, half the population refuses to be vaccinated and continues to spread the virus.
It's true that at this point the Delta variant is the plague of the unvaccinated population. It's mostly the unvaccinated who are coming down with the sickness, who are overrunning the hospitals, who are taking up the intensive care unit beds, the ventilators and the oxygen, who are beleaguering the over-worked, exhausted hospital staff.
But it's also these vaccine refusers who are the cause of the growing surge of the Delta variant coronavirus in the United States, who are feeding it, keeping it alive and posssibly mutating, keeping it front and center, letting it rule our economy, our businesses, our entertainment, our social interactions, our health care system, the news media - will the day come ever when the COVID pandemic won't be front and center in the news? - and the choices we, the vaccinated, find ourselves having to make.
The ferocity with which the Delta variant is striking everywhere in this country is keeping us on edge. Do we go to the wedding we've been invited to? Is the wedding indoors or outdoors, we wonder, and how many guests will there be? How many of them will be vaccinated? How many unvaccinated? Will the unvaccinated wear masks? Might we, the vaccinated, be infected with a break-through infection passed from an unvaccinated person?
As for me, I've sent regrets for two late-summer weddings that I've been invited to because I'm worried about unknowingly sitting next to or otherwise mingling with unvaccinated and possibly infected guests. I'm worried and I'm aggravated.
But I believe that the time will come when the vaccine refusers will finally relent and, in spite of whatever political, religious, philosophical, psychological or individualistic persuasions have ruled their decision so far, will come flocking to the vaccination sites. That time will come when children, who have in the past been for the most part spared the worst of the COVID scourge, become the next victims of the Delta, or whatever new, more lethal coronavirus mutation might even now be brewing in the of the bodies of the unvaccinated.
In fact the attack on the children has already started. Last week it was reported that eighteen youngsters at a summer camp in New York were infected with COVID and a five-year-old boy in Georgia died of the infection. Don't believe that the coronavirus, if left to grow and mutate and spread among the unvaccinated adult population, won't eventually come with a cruel wrath for the children.
In the meantime there's nothing we the vaccinated can do about it but steep in our aggravation and worry.