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OUR VIEW: Encouraging people to do what’s best for their health

Over the weekend, you might’ve seen a new video posted by LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton and County Commission Chairman Patrick Crews urging people to take the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The vaccine is the key to saving lives and preventing future economic and social disruptions,” Thornton said in the video. “While each individual has to make their own choice, we strongly urge all of our friends and neighbors to follow the expert advice of our local physicians and healthcare providers and take the vaccine as soon as possible.”

The video was necessary because Troup County’s COVID-19 numbers continue to lag behind the rest of the state and country.

Regardless how you feel about the vaccine, the numbers are what they are.

Only 26 percent of Troup County residents are fully vaccinated and only 30% have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In the last two weeks, Troup County has had 216 new cases of COVID-19. There have been 203 confirmed deaths.

Healthcare workers around the country, and in our community, are concerned about the growth in cases, especially considering school starts back next week.

We’ve said all along that people should check with their medical provider and ask all of their vaccine questions. Find out if you are a good candidate for the vaccine.

Your doctor is the person to ask — the person with years of medical training and experience. It’s not Facebook or your friends and family.

If you haven’t talked to your doctor about the vaccine, we encourage you to do so. Make sure you are equipped with good information — factual information.

A total of 4.18 billion doses of the vaccine have been issued globally, and we’re not aware of anyone who has grown a third eyeball.

People argue that they are concerned about the long-term effects of the vaccine, but they also receive other vaccines. Plus, we also don’t know the long-term effects of COVID-19. However, we do know the virus has killed over 4 million people worldwide.

People who have gotten the vaccine are less likely to get serious ill, according to medical experts. Doctors and nurses treating people with COVID-19 say that it’s unvaccinated people who typically end up hospitalized or extremely sick.

We’re in the midst of another spike. Cases are rising, mask mandates are coming back and life as we know — normal for the past few months — could be on the brink of changing again.

There are only a few things we can do to avoid losing the freedom we’ve had the last few months — wear a mask, use a lot of hand sanitizer and get the vaccine.