LET’S NOT CREATE THE PANDEMIC OF THE UNVACCINATED IN OUR COUNTRY, DO YOUR PART AND VACCINATE
Comment by Pastor Ray McCauley – Sun 08 Aug 21
I recently heard a remark that caught my attention by the President of the United States of America, His Excellency, President Joe Biden, when he said, “we are now dealing with the pandemic of the unvaccinated, and these people are killing other people.” President Joe Biden was responding to a question by a news reporter on the surge of the number of infections by the Delta variant in the United States. He was visibly angry with the people refusing to be vaccinated because the Delta variant was not only creating problems but was also threatening to reverse all the hard work and gain his Administration has made since taking office.
The facts and stats coming out of the United States on the rising number of infections, leading to severe illness, hospitalisation and deaths, are 99, 9 percent of people who are not vaccinated. These are important figures for us to take note of here at home because it tells us the importance and effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing severe illness, hospitalisation and death.
The same stats are also coming out of the United Kingdom and other countries, showing that the majority of people who are not vaccinated for Covid-19 also end up suffering from severe illness, hospitalisation and death. This is proof of the importance and effectiveness of these vaccines. They are saving lives in other countries. Recently, a study was done in SA – specifically in the Western Cape – that showed a huge reduction in the number of infections, hospitalisation and deaths amongst health care workers after they were vaccinated. These stats and facts are coming out of studies done by scientists not just some guesswork by somebody not trained in the field. There is now clear scientific evidence showing that these vaccines are working and that they are safe for human consumption to prevent severe illness, hospitalisation and death from both the Delta and Beta variants of the coronavirus. We must know these stats so that people don’t mislead us on the dangers of vaccines without any evidence.
Given the scientific evidence we now know and the proof that the vaccines work, I have a serious problem with those who continue to spread misinformation, conspiracy theories and fake news about them amongst our communities. Such behaviour should not be tolerated. When people speak on the issue of vaccines they should at least produce some facts to back up their statements otherwise they should be taken to task by the law enforcement agencies. People are dying 2 from this virus so it is totally irresponsible to spread lies and fake news about the vaccines without evidence to back it up.
I’m fully aware that people have the right to say no to taking a vaccine – that is their prerogative and should be respected, but no one has the right to spread lies, fake news and conspiracy theories – that is point blank wrong.
Here at home, we are coming out of a deadly third wave of the Delta variant which caused much destruction in just three months, including the loss of so many souls. These are not just numbers, these are people’s lives that this disease has taken from us, and it is someone’s father, mother, sister or brother, someone’s husband or wife. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain and distress that people are going through right now. My heart and prayers go out to each person who has lost a loved one. Some children have been left orphaned and some people left widowed.
Going back to the vaccines, we must commend the acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi on the work she has done in the short space of time since she took over from Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize (who was put on special leave following allegations of corruption – which dented both his image and that of the Department and slowed down the rollout process). The feedback we are getting from the ramping up of the rollout process and operations on the ground is that the rollout is running smoothly on all sites. It was also a wise move by Government to open up for walk-ins and weekend rollouts. The Department is now averaging more than 250k jabs a day. This is incredible progress from where we were two months ago. So when credit is due we must give it. We all want this rollout to succeed, a failed rollout does not help us because the country suffers and we suffer with it.
We also commend President Cyril Ramaphosa on the work he continues to do in acquiring and lobbying for vaccine doses for South Africa and our Continent. We saw the result of his lobbying when the United States of America donated more than 5million doses. We need all the doses we can get to beat this deadly virus. Scientists are already warning us of a fourth wave around December 2021. We cannot afford any more waves, we simply cannot. We have seen and experienced how deadly each wave is. The loss of human life is just too much, people don’t even have time to grieve for their loved ones. Our economy is on its knees, people have lost so much and we must all do what it takes to avoid a fourth wave. We must beat this deadly virus in order to stop the humanitarian and economic crisis we are facing. Vaccines are the way to go – period. 3
I strongly believe and am convinced that if the private sector, big business, civil society, and the church/religious leaders continue to work with, support and partner with our Government we will overcome this virus. No person is safe until we are all safe. The same goes for the political parties. They cannot afford to be bystanders while the battle rages on. We understand that they have the right to criticise, but this battle is not only the Government’s to fight, we must all fight it. We can unite and defeat the invisible enemy together or allow the virus to continue causing havoc. The choice is ours.
Lastly, I’m reminded of the words by our President on the 16 March 2020 when he said “Fellow South Africans, this pandemic will pass, but it is up to us to determine how long it will last, how damaging it will be, and how long it will take our economy and our country to recover. We are indeed facing a grave emergency. But if we act together, if we act now, and if we act decisively, we will overcome it.’’ Well, there you are South Africa, it is in our hands to do your part and get vaccinated. I HAVE DONE MY PART, I’M VACCINATED.
Happy Women’s Month! I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all the Women of South Africa a Happy Women’s Day.
PASTOR RAY IS THE PRESIDENT OF RHEMA FAMILY CHURCHES AND THE CHAIRPERSON OF NATIONAL RELIGIOUS LEADERS COUNCIL (NRLC)