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Guest opinion: Please don’t become a statistic of the ‘Pandemic of the Unvaccinated’

By Staff | Aug 6, 2021

With the new “Delta Variant” and other mutations of COVID-19 and nearly a year and a half later with more than 600,000 deaths in the United States, the virus just won’t go away. Last year, Nova Southeastern University, like other organizations, had to quickly pivot operations and teaching modalities to meet the pandemic head on. By now I had hoped we could start relaxing those precautions, but the COVID-19 virus has an agenda of its own.

It’s time for a reality check. The COVID-19 virus doesn’t care who you vote for or what the color of your skin is, or if you are from a red state or a blue state. And it isn’t a First Amendment issue — it’s a health and safety issue, pure and simple. Most Americans already receive vaccinations for many other deadly viruses and COVID-19 should not be an exception.

This virus finds viable hosts to infect, and as we’re seeing now with the extremely transmissible Delta variant, it’s the unvaccinated who are the overwhelming majority of those becoming sick and needing to be hospitalized, or sadly, dying. Every day we see stories of people who, for whatever reason, resisted getting the vaccine and are now deathly ill with the virus — many of them are right here in Florida. Many of those have publicly admitted their regret about not getting inoculated and are urging others not to wait.

Don’t wait — please get the vaccine now.

At NSU, in order to be sure that our faculty and staff remain safe and to help curb and control the spread of this deadly virus, we must do more than encourage individuals to get vaccinated. As such, all faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by Sept. 20, 2021. The reason is simple; science has taught us that the COVID-19 vaccine is the best shot we have to prevent more people from dying unnecessarily.

As the president of a doctoral research university with campus locations across Florida and Puerto Rico, and as a father, a grandfather and uncle to many nieces and nephews, I urge you to put aside all the “noise” that is drowning out the science. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide have received the vaccine, and while it may not be a “forcefield” that completely protects us from the virus, what it will do is keep the symptoms at bay and keep you from serve illness — or even death — if you happen to become infected. I’m sure you’d rather be home and not feel well instead of answering questions from your physician or health officials if you agree to be on a ventilator or receive CPR.

That is why at NSU we are doing everything we can to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors as safe as possible. Believe me, although face masks have been proven to cut down significantly the chance of transmission of COVID19, vaccinations are the only way we will begin to completely control this deadly virus. The sooner we all do all the things we know can help control the spread of the virus, the sooner we can drop the masks and get back to doing all the things we love to do.

— George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D. is the President/CEO of Nova Southeastern University.