More than 300,000 Americans have died. 

COVID-19 is deadly. 

The pandemic is worse than ever.

Vaccines are on the way but the initial 2.9 million doses by the end of the week is a very small rollout that will not be enough to slow community spread during this massive surge. 

The vaccine is great news. 

It is the answer.

But it will take months, not days or weeks, for it to change our lives and safeguard our communities against this dangerous virus. 

Sadly, things are going to get worse before they get better.

More people are being diagnosed.

More people are getting sick. 

More people are being hospitalized. 

More people are being placed on ventilators. 

More people are dying. 

We cannot relax because vaccines are on the way to our community. 

We must double down and protect our families, the most vulnerable among us and ourselves. 

Despite naysayers and science deniers, the science is not unclear when it comes to what we must do to protect ourselves and our community. 

Wear masks. 

Socially distance.

Avoid group gatherings. 

Wash your hands frequently. 

None of this is about your rights but rather about our lives. 

Of course, everyone is tired of wearing masks.

Of course, everyone wants things to get back to normal.

Of course, people want to go to church, eat out in restaurants, watch a movie in a theater, attend a play or a concert. 

But can't we put the brakes on these things and wait just a little while longer as more and more doses of the vaccine are administered in coming weeks and months? 

There is a light at the end of the tunnel but first we must navigate our way through this dark tunnel of sickness and death. 

Please stop making this some kind of political battle or about your constitutional rights. 

No one is telling you what to do. 

We are begging you. 

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