MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Throughout our nearly two year battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, we have relied on local, state and federal government to help keep us safe. But their performance has honestly been mixed.
At the federal level, the government worked with drug companies to get safe and effective vaccines developed and distributed in record time, but the feds also have been slow to respond to the emergence of new COVID variants particularly when it comes to adequate testing.
The state government too often has allowed partisan politics to get in the way of addressing the pandemic by opposing mask mandates and other helpful measures.
Then there are the courts, particularly the Supreme Court, which this week struck down a Biden administration plan to require large companies to impose vaccine mandates or regular testing of their workforce. The court’s conservative majority apparently has bought in to the notion that individual liberty means having the right to infect others with a deadly virus.
So here’s where I think we are: we cannot count on government or the courts to safeguard our health.
Thankfully in Shelby County, we now have a pretty good vaccination rate. Among people in my age group, 65 to 74, we have a vaccination rate of nearly 89 percent. Even those 12 to 17 have a rate that is over 50 percent. We can fight back against COVID, but for the most part, we will have to do it on our own.
I’m Otis Sanford, and that’s my point of view.