From Chuck Wiser, 8/19/21, “I write the words to share what my eyes see and my heart feels.”
I had intended to cover a different topic this week but reading a County statistic in an Olean Times Herald article Tuesday changed my outlook and my mind. The statistic reported was for the percentage of Allegany County residents that have received the Covid Virus vaccine. In light of the recent upswing of Covid cases and hospitalizations, after having seen a continual downward trend for months prior to the rapid spread of the latest variant, I am saddened by the apparent unconcern of so many local residents.
As of Monday afternoon the percentage of County residents having received at least one dose of the available vaccines stood at 39.4%, far below the national average. Oddly enough that does not correspond with the 90% + of the residents visiting the local business establishments without wearing mask protection.
The statistics of those currently being hospitalized with the Covid virus lean very heavily (90%+) toward those being unvaccinated and nearly as heavily toward those in the under 50 year old age bracket. When you visit a local business establishment, look around you. Not all, and likely a low percentage of the people you see without a mask, may have been vaccinated, or fully vaccinated.
Yes! You can still be infected by the virus even though vaccinated, but the odds are pretty low. Even if you do get re-infected the severity of the illness is typically extremely low, many not even having symptoms. Even though vaccinated the odds of being infected or re-infected are miniscule. If not vaccinated, not wearing a mask greatly increases the odds of your being infected, and/or of infecting others.
Business establishments relaxed their mask wearing mandates and most have a sign indicating that only those “unvaccinated” would have to wear a mask. I think that we should have to prove that we have been vaccinated, as all too many people have, or would say that they have, been vaccinated. I think that a business establishment has every right to mandate the wearing of the mask, and, should do so. Proof of vaccination should be every bit as easily checked as checking ID to buy alcohol. I have even had my ID checked when buying spray paint or garden insecticides. Carry a card. No big deal.
The most frequently used argument or rationalization against, being required to provide proof of vaccination is a “violation of their HIPPA” rights or freedoms, by having to give that proof. HIPPA is not a “freedom” or “right” as such, it is a protection against your medical information being shared or given out without your consent. Showing your proof violates nothing. Not getting vaccinated proves many things.
Following is an excerpt from CDC documentation regarding HIPPA. Italicization and bold print is by me to highlight significant components of the intention of HIPPA.
I doubt any of the masking violators will read this or continue reading the excerpt, but if you do it will “give you words” to help educate the unwilling or unbelieving.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is a federal law that required the creation of national standards to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the HIPAA Privacy Rule to implement the requirements of HIPAA. The HIPAA Security Rule protects a subset of information covered by the Privacy Rule.
HIPPA Privacy Rule
The Privacy Rule standards address the use and disclosure of individuals’ health information (known as “protected health information”) by entities subject to the Privacy Rule. These individuals and organizations are called “covered entities.” The Privacy Rule also contains standards for individuals’ rights to understand and control how their health information is used. A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to ensure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well-being. The Privacy Rule strikes a balance that permits important uses of information while protecting the privacy of people who seek care and healing.
Changing the subject, I would like to publicly reach out to a reader that took the time to contact the editor and comment on one of my articles. I welcome comments, constructive criticism, and feedback on the topics. Pointing out any mistakes that I make or your perception that I have made, is welcome as it gives me the opportunity to correct, revise, explain, or at least be aware of any such errors. This recent comment concerned my use of quote marks in my writings. Ironically, when proofing the writing before submitting it, the thought did cross my mind that there were quite a few uses of them. It was questioned whether I knew the proper usage of the quote marks and in fact I did basically, but my typing fingers often outpace my thinking and I had gotten lazy in paying attention. As with anything that I encounter, I look to learn, and learn I did. I verified the “rules” and in some cases was justified in my use and will explain here. Written quote marks can be, and often are, used like physical communication “air quotes.” I often use quote marks to call attention to, or highlight specific words, terms, or phrases. It’s kinda like Italicizing but more easily done as you can do it directly from the keyboard without having to manipulate fonts or remember the “ctrl x” type keystrokes to do it. Last week’s article contained a number of “bulleted” comments, each having their own embedded features that I wanted to “hi-lite”, so it did likely look a little overloaded. Another instance of my use of quote marks occurs when I want to intentionally misspell a word as I did in that last sentence. I did learn something new and again I owe thanks to the reader for nudging me onto that opportunity. In mathematics, formulas and “expressions” are “nested” by the use of ( )’s.
((XY+ 2Z (4W + X)) would cause the action of 4W+X to occur before doing anything else. Quote marks, can be nested in the same way. John said: “These calculations are ’special cases’.” The single ‘ is used within a quote or other use.
There. Now that I have bored you into submission, I will quit. Have a great weekend. Stay dry.