The Sun-Times article “‘Relentless rollercoaster ride: COVID-19 subvariants put Chicago area at high risk – again’ highlighted that coronavirus cases are rising in Cook County . It’s heartbreaking that hospitalizations are increasing, but it’s great that typical precautions, like vaccinations and masks, can still protect against the spread.
While the Cook County Public Health Department can assure people that vaccines will protect them even during the current spike in cases, the same is not true in other countries.
In low-income countries, only about 21% of people have received at least one dose of the vaccine. While we worry about new waves of viruses, people around the world have never stopped struggling to find a vaccine. Poverty reduction has stalled and the economic disruption caused by the pandemic threatens to increase extreme poverty rates.
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Although the latest relief package includes crucial foreign aid to support the global response to the pandemic, those efforts have slowed. The United States must take the lead in helping those who need it most.
The unintended socio-economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue for decades. Rising global poverty shrinks the international market for US companies; it also creates conflict zones filled with desperate people. If the moral imperative isn’t enough, think about yourself, your economic prospects and your security. Congress must pass additional funding for the international delivery and distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world.
In the meantime, citizens should support nonprofits, like the Borgen Project, that are working to prioritize poverty reduction in US foreign policy. The fight against global poverty and the pandemic is far from over, and further action on all fronts is needed to prevent the worst consequences.
Isabelle Piekut, Park Ridge
Remembering Healthy and Comforting Moments
“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose a voter.” Sound familiar?
How about that? A sniper fires an assault rifle at random into a crowd of innocent people, killing and injuring men, women and children. How many times have we heard this story?
The Highland Park shooter was the deeply troubled classic villain that red flag laws were designed to target and disarm. So what happened? More urgently, how can we prevent this from happening again?
I am a third generation Highland Parker who attended the event. As I later remember seeing the HP group marching in their blue and white uniforms just before the shots rang out and then watching them, with everyone who could, run for their lives, I finds comfort in remembering healthier times and school. fight song:
“Highland Park we’re forever true / To your standards we’ll be true / Whether it’s up or down / We’ll smile and never frown / We’re proud of you Highland Park”
Phillip Kock, Highland Park