During last week’s City Council meeting, those of you who hung around to the end may have noticed when Councilmember Harvey Rarback spoke to request that an item be added to the next meeting agenda. Perhaps in a more normal time his request would be wholly unremarkable, but when viewed in the heat of the moment it seems clear this is likely to be front-page news in the very near future.

Rarback’s request? To consider a requirement that all city employees and contractors be vaccinated before beginning work for the city or on any city project.

Before I dive into that, I think it’s time to revisit a piece I wrote a couple of months ago on COVID-19 and our local community that received numerous responses on this page. I have come to realize since then that one thing I don’t think people have really thought about when cogitating on vaccinations is that while there are two “sides” to the issue, only one can be correct. It is not a subjective disagreement — this is definitively not an argument over whether the Steelers are better than the Niners. Either vaccines have saved hundreds of thousands of American lives and have allowed us to (mostly) return to our new normal, or they haven’t and they have inflicted massive harm on those who have received them, as well as somehow impacted our freedom in the process.

With that in mind, and with a clear understanding of the exasperation that both sides feel about the issue, it’s time to declare the issue dead. The numbers are in, and no amount of Facebook (oops, I mean Meta) or social-media driven disinformation is ever going to change what we now know: Over the past six to eight months, if you are not vaccinated, your risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is between eight and 12 times greater than those of us who have been vaccinated. Further, the hospital data shows that if you are infected your odds of ending up in intensive care on a ventilator are many times greater than the vaccinated population. And finally: The unvaccinated droves that overwhelmed hospitals in many areas of the country had a real-world impact on their communities when they effectively shut those hospitals for literally everyone except COVID-19 victims.

That unspeakable tragedy is our collective reality, and it’s time for all of us to provide grace, encouragement and support to the people in our community who are still unable to accept that reality. It is in the interests of our community to engage with this population because no matter how desperately individuals continue to refuse a life-saving vaccination, and no matter the reason, it remains the case that unvaccinated individuals pose a direct threat to our community in direct proportion to the number and frequency of contacts they have with others in the community.

Which brings us to Rarback’s request. It is unequivocally in our interests for people who have frequent contact with the public to be fully vaccinated. (It is in their interests as well.) Yet after Dr. Deborah Penrose seconded Harvey’s request, some discussion ensued, a part of which had the City Attorney offering that she wasn’t sure the Sheriff’s Office union would accept such a requirement.

Come again? A private union of all things, representing people who work for us, is now empowered with making public health and safety decisions for all of us? What kind of metastasized governmental miscarriage is this, and on what planet does the union get to dictate to our duly elected City Council what it may do when protecting the public’s health and interest?

Deputies are in contact with tens, if not dozens, of our fellow community members on a daily basis. Given the ample science and recent history behind the harm that unvaccinated people can wreak on a community, it would be unconscionable for the council not to act in the interests of the people they serve — whether or not those people are aware of and accept the very real scientific basis for their action.

May you and your family continue to find safety and peace on this longest of journeys.

David Eblovi lives in Half Moon Bay.

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(1) comment

Scott McVicker

Version #2

A broken clock is right twice a day

Eblovi is right. We have reached the end of the discussion. Just not the conclusion he prefers.

Real world testing of the experimental injection on both the eager and the coerced have yielded some uncomfortable conclusions. Let’s go over them, shall we?

#1 – This injectable will not prevent you from catching this virus.

#2 – This injectable will not prevent you from passing this virus to others.

#3 – This injectable will not prevent you from illness attributed to this virus. It is assumed that the injectable prevents you from experiencing a severe version of the illness should you catch it.

#4 – This method of providing protection against this virus has a time limitation. If you have chosen to participate in this experiment, expect to need booster shots…or be declared effectively “unvaccinated” by those in charge.

#5 – This method of providing protection carries with it the potential for some serious side effects. As long-term data is unavailable, there may be additional unknown side effects which are even worse than those already presenting.

In short, this is not the injectable we had all wished for. It is, simply, as good as could be accomplished given the limited timeframe. Kudos for the effort. Given the risks and limitations, its use might best be restricted to those among the vulnerable sub-group(s) in our population.

Now is the time to gather what we have learned and develop a strategy for addressing a virus we will be living with for years to come. Now is not the time to time to go poking every mammal in sight with the irrational goal of driving this virus to extinction.

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