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Vaccines, Masking Critical Components as COVID-19 Pandemic Continues


By James Whelan, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer,
Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital

As we enter the second year of this deadly pandemic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With just a couple of months of sacrifice we can put this terrible time behind us. What is the best path forward? The dedicated providers listed below are unified in our conviction that getting vaccinated and continued masking in public are the most important components of the path forward.

Dr. James ShelanWe urge you to mask for others. Hospitalizations in Cadillac are skyrocketing and Wexford, Osceola and Missaukee counties continue to have very high rates of transmission. Masking slows transmission and will give us time to get more people vaccinated and save lives. Even those who have already had Covid-19 and recovered and those fully vaccinated can carry and spread the virus. We wear our masks so we are less likely to spread the virus to others, please do the same for each other.

We realize many are hesitant to get the vaccines, for various reasons. This is not a political crisis but a medical one. The healthcare providers below have dedicated well over 1,000 years taking care of you and your families. Our hearts have broken watching families suffer the isolation and loss that has dominated our work this past year. Yet, we continue to have members of our community fall ill, almost universally unvaccinated people at this point, and we worry that if not enough people get vaccinated, the cycle of sickness, suffering and death will continue.

Everyone listed here believes the approved vaccines are safe and effective. Please discuss your individual concerns with your provider, a much more trusted source than the internet, ask all your questions and then please decide. Vaccine supply is rapidly rising and the local practices, pharmacies and health department have sign-ups available. Once enough people are vaccinated we can put this fearful, uncertain time behind us by summer.

Thank you for your trust and the privilege of allowing us to care for you and your family.

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