The Sheriff Speaks: The Delta Variant

Sheriff Kevin Sproul

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

It seemed like we were almost there. Many areas of our economy were opening back up and it looked like we would be back to (almost) normal by Labor Day. Then came Delta.

The Delta Variant of COVID-19 is like a stray pit-bull – with rabies. If you see a stray pit-bull, you know to use caution. You don’t know if it will try to bite you or not. But if that dog has rabies, you can be almost certain it will attack. It’s the same with the Delta Variant. We all know to use caution to help prevent COVID-19, but the Delta Variant is so transmissible that it will almost certainly get you.

Even those who have been vaccinated are vulnerable. Although not nearly as much as the unvaccinated, but vaccination alone will not stop transmission of the disease. Statistics have shown that vaccinated people who do get the virus tend to get less sick, are less likely to require hospitalization, and are not likely to die from the disease. In fact, the difference is so pronounced that many are calling the Delta Variant the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”.

My greatest concern regarding those who choose not to get vaccinated, is that it leaves a large population in which the virus can mutate. The Delta Variant should be a wake-up call that mutations can be much more problematic than the original strain. Who knows what the next mutant strain will be like? It seems to me that the best way to prevent further mutations is to limit, as much as possible, the spread of the virus. Vaccination seems to be the most effective way to accomplish that. And now that the FDA has fully approved a vaccine, those who have been holding out waiting for such approval can be assured that the vaccine is both safe and effective.

I have heard many say that the vaccine is not really as effective as initially stated. They even cite the call for booster shots as evidence of this. We should all remember that booster shots are nothing new. We get a flu shot every year. The Hepatitis B vaccine is given in three doses – the third being given six-months after the second. I would anticipate that COVID booster shots will become a routine part of our lives from now on.

I have heard people say that even vaccinated people are getting sick, so what’s the point? While that may be true, the chances of getting sick are greatly reduced by getting vaccinated. If a vaccination is 95% effective at preventing transmission, by definition we could expect 5% to still get sick. No one should be surprised by this. Also, those 5% will probably not get nearly as sick as they would have gotten if not vaccinated. 

I have also heard people say that they have friends in the medical field who are against vaccination. They cite this as their reason for not taking the shot. I also know doctors and nurses who smoke cigarettes, are overweight, and who don’t exercise regularly. I don’t believe we should follow their example simply by virtue of their profession. Just because someone works in a particular field does not necessarily make them an expert and does not mean their personal choices should be emulated.

Right now, due to the surge of COVID fueled by the Delta Variant, we are slipping back into the same response measures we were forced to put in place last year. My heart breaks for this community which has suffered so much over the past few years. I desperately want us to move past this and become whole again and truly don’t see a way for that to happen without vaccination. If you have not been vaccinated, please consider it. If you have doubts, please don’t rely on social media for your medical information; rather, please discuss it with your doctor.

As always, I am incredibly proud and humbled to be your Sheriff. My staff and I are here for you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 229-302-3600. God Bless!