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EDITORIAL: It is time to pull together

It did not have to be like this.

But, unfortunately, COVID-19 cases are on the rise, spurred heavily by new variants that have developed as the virus continues to circulate and mutate.

With three vaccines available to the public, free and easily obtained, this could have been largely avoided.

But, thanks in part to a steady stream of misinformation in social media, certain sectors of political media and irresponsible politicians, vaccine hesitancy has become all too large of a problem.

So, as a result, we are seeing the return of masking in public settings, as is the case with area hospitals and universities, and cancellations of events, such as those of the Sybene-Chesapeake Senior Center, whose members waited patiently for more than a year to reopen, only to have their fellowship again forced to be curtailed.

On our current course, it entirely possible the virus may develop into a contagious, vaccine-resistant variant, putting us all back at square one in this crisis.

From the Great Depression to World War II, Americans have made it through adversity in the past by coming together and doing their part.

So we urge those of you who have not been vaccinated to please do so. If you have questions about it, consult with your doctor or a medical professional to get the facts.

Don’t let the paranoia and misinformation derail all the progress that has been made.