It is evident that Covid-19 is still circulating in our population. To date, the U.S. has recorded 8 million confirmed cases with 215,000 fatalities. This disease will not simply "go away" spontaneously. From data collected in Europe, Asia and in areas of our nation that infection reappears often after continual "super-spreader events." 

It is axiomatic that our economy will not recover unless Covid-19 is suppressed. An effective vaccine will be the most practical method of increasing population immunity thereby reducing the incidence rate of the infection. Despite advances in developing alternative vaccines, it is evident that administration at levels that will protect the entire population will not be achieved until the spring of 2021. Therefore, we must be realistic and plan accordingly. 

The first imperative is to wear a mask in public and in the workplace. Unfortunately, wearing of masks has become a political issue and "anti-maskers" who are in denial do not realize their own vulnerability and their potential to infect fellow citizens. 

The second issue of immediate concern relates to vaccination against seasonal influenza. There is every possibility that the 2020-2021 season may be severe given the forecast of a colder winter attributed to the La Nina event now developing in the Pacific Ocean. 

Even with improved diagnostic procedures for Covid, physicians will be hard-pressed to differentiate at an early stage between influenza and Covid-19. Concurrent infections could elevate the fatality rate, and everyone is urged to receive the seasonal influenza vaccine. Supplies of vaccine are available, including the high-potent version for the elderly and those with predisposing health conditions. Influenza vaccination will benefit health and productivity of workers during the fall and winter. Continual masking, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and employment of sanitation and hygiene must be deployed until an effective vaccine is available. Administration of seasonal influenza vaccine is an added measure to reduce the impact of COVID-19.

Dr. Joseph J. Giambrone

Auburn resident

 

Jones deserves another term

 Tommy Tuberville seeks to portray Sen. Doug Jones as Alabama’s enemy, yet Jones’ record demonstrates how much he has championed Alabamians’ lives during his short tenure. From rural health support to suicide prevention, Jones has fought for Alabama, seeking to save lives and improve the quality of life for all. 

While Alabama’s rural health system struggles, Jones fights to bring the support needed to sustain and improve our healthcare system. Jones co-sponsored the bipartisan Rural MOMS Act to reduce the rural disparity in maternal health; for Alabama, ranking 43rd in infant mortality, this legislation is essential. 

Jones, with Republican Mike Rounds, brought forward the Rural Health Liaison Act promoting coordination between the USDA and health care stakeholders. Just recently, Jones and Republican Bill Cassidy pushed the Reopen Schools Safely Act to provide needed resources to support in-person schooling. 

Jones demonstrates a commitment to serving those who served. Along with Republican Joni Ernst, Jones introduced a bill to combat veteran suicide by promoting peer wellness checks. Co-sponsored with Republican Susan Collins, Jones passed the Military Widow’s Tax Elimination Act, providing spouses of fallen heroes the full benefits they deserve, a bill impacting over 2,000 widows in Alabama. He introduced the Veterans Jobs Opportunity Act to provide assistance to veterans beginning small businesses.

Tuberville vilifies his opposing party. Jones works with his opposing party. Tuberville pledges himself to Trump. Jones pledges himself to Alabama. Two years has revealed Senator Jones’ potential to transform Alabama for the better. He deserves another six.

 

Blake Busbin

Auburn resident

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