I am now about 1,000 miles from Columbia at a beach community between Savannah and Charleston, but there is no escape from the news.

The morning newspaper, the Charleston Post and Courier, to which I subscribe, published two Associated Press articles about anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers recently.

The first was about how those folks are threatening medical providers – doctors and nurses.

While usually proclaimed heroes, doctors and nurses are now victims of attacks from people who believe all the misinformation  — okay, lies — dished out on the internet. Not all of the medical personnel receive threats, but enough do that this ugly happening becomes statistically valid.

In that AP article, the hospital in Branson figured prominently, having issued 400 “panic buttons” to its personnel. The panic buttons are for when a person is threatened. By pressing the button, the police and hospital security are notified. This is the sorry state we are now in, that people devoted to taking care of ill patients are victimized.

If that weren't enough, the article also quoted an emergency room physician in — of all places — Columbia, Missouri. He, too, lamented the sad state in which people caring for the sick are threatened.

The second AP article was about how those opposed to about anything related to COVID-19 — except horse de-wormer and hydroxychloroquine — are protesting at school board meetings.

The school boards are composed of volunteers, who get no pay, and who are elected by voters in their district. Apparently, when various school boards are considering mandating mask for school children, the naysayers claim all sorts of things that preclude mask wearing. Never mind that the anti-maskers are not at all convinced by data that shows masking works.

Speaking of data, scientists have determined that unvaccinated people with COVID-19 are dying at a rate 11 times greater than the vaccinated. Not content to be stricken and die from COVID-19, these deluded folk are now aiming their hate at those who will hover at their bedside while they are breathing their last.

To be sure, few of those who are vaccinated become hospitalized and a few die. No vaccine claims to be 100% effective, but the unvaccinated get hospitalized at a rate that is 10 times higher than the vaccinated.

Maybe that will ultimately convince the anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers that COVID-19 is not political — the virus makes no distinction based on party affiliation. It makes no difference if a person is Republican, Democrat, Socialist or anything else. If infected with the coronavirus, you are hospitalized or dead.

While observing the illness rates published in the daily newspaper, I will be lounging in the sand and looking out over the ocean. I have had COVID-19, and I am fully vaccinated thanks to Moderna. 

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