Travis Kelce, Javy Baez team up for Walgreen’s vaccination campaign

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At a time when many believe and/or behave as if the pandemic has ended, it hasn’t. The Delta variant continues to spread, with those who have yet to be vaccinated at the highest risk of illness and serious outcome. And still there are many who refuse to get the shot.

While the intensity of the anti-vaccine feelings held by many likely won’t subside, due in part to media voices that profit from telling those folks what they want to hear, it’s important for others to tell those folks and everyone else what they need to hear. Everyone needs to get the vaccine.

Sorry, but it’s true. Your Facebook algorithm may serve up reading options that support your predetermined belief system, but everyone needs to get the vaccine.

“There’s no good reason not to get vaccinated,” someone said this week. “We need to finish the job. And I know there’s some skepticism out there, but let me put it his way: It may not guarantee you don’t get it but it almost guarantees you don’t die from it if you get it.”

The person who said that wasn’t a far-left lunatic but Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Republican caucus in the Senate. So to the extent that anyone has resisted the shot as further manifestation of the ongoing red-state/blue-state mostly-cold civil war, this ain’t it.

Anyway, I’m mentioning all of that because Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Cubs shortstop Javy Baez have teamed up with Walgreen’s to persuade people to get vaccinated, via Sports Business Journal. It’s great that Kelce and Baez are willing to speak clearly and unequivocally on the subject, because anyone who does so gets loudly chastised by members of the no-jab camp.

If we’re ever going to end the pandemic, more people with platforms need to do the right thing and encourage people to get the vaccine. Also, anyone who uses their platforms to pander to those searching for someone to make them feel better about not getting the vaccine should set aside that sliver of their broader strategy to make money from telling people it’s OK to eat all the dessert they want so that, on this issue, they’ll hear and heed the message that they need to eat their vegetables, too.

Again, people are entitled to their own opinions, but they aren’t entitled to their own facts. The challenge for each of us is to make an honest assessment of the facts, separating what we want to hear from what we need to hear. And what everyone needs to hear is that as many people as possible need to get vaccinated, if we’re ever going to get — and stay — back to normal.