Last week, the New York Times had a story that suggested, thanks to vaccine hesitancy, we may not be able to vanquish COVID-19. Instead, the disease may continue to circulate at low levels "for generations." It's a chilling thought.
This week, staff reporter Christina Duran sinks into the efforts that federal and local officials are taking to transition from big, centralized vaccination Points of Distribution to smaller mobile units that are going into neighborhoods in order to get more needles into arms. It's not just a matter of protecting those who are vaccinated; unless we get the vaccine into enough people, the virus will stick around and mutate. As Dr. Richard Carmona, the former surgeon general and leader of a taskforce to combat COVID on campus, puts it: "The fact is the longer this virus is alive around the world the more it's going to circulate. The more it will mutate, and eventually will mutate to a virus that could cause some significant problems. There is a scientific reason that we want to encourage the whole world to be vaccinated, and as a humanitarian issue as well. But for the self-preservation of mankind, everybody needs to get vaccinated."
If you haven't already signed up for a shot, please consider doing so. There are plenty of doses to go around.
Elsewhere in the book this week: Staff writer Duran also reports on why Pima County Board of Supervisors voted to spend $10 million next year on early childhood education programs, as well as U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly's recent tour of the Rialto Theatre in support of grants for shuttered venue operators; columnist Tom Danehy pens some open letters; The Skinny audits the "audit" of the 2020 election underway in Maricopa County; UA School of Journalism intern Madison Beal looks at an initiative effort to raise Tucson's minimum age to $15 an hour; associate editor Jeff Gardner gives a listen to a new album from Keith Allen Dennis; calendar editor Emily Dieckman brings you pandemic-safe events if you're ready to get out of your house; Tucson Weedly columnist David Abbott has more advice for those who want to grow their own cannabis; and we have plenty more in the book, so dig in and enjoy yourself.
Hear Nintz talk about what to do this week in Tucson and the news of the day at 9:30 a.m. Wednesdays during The World-Famous Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM.