Where is the love?

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Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino
Out In Jersey magazine Editor Sam Martino

Editor’s Letter

I can’t think of any better way to honor Betty White than by taking a rescue dog in. Our new dog, Lucia, was rescued from the Amish in Alabama, had no name, and was being bred beyond recognition. Lucia is now in our charge, and she is learning to become a dog. She has learned what it means to have a yard and run and play. She is learning what it means to be loved.

I find it ironic that we are teaching a rescue dog love in the month of February, which is really, if you celebrate Valentine’s Day, the month of love. Speaking of love, I am going to ask you to see a different side of Covid. Not the side where you know you will be ok if you get this disease, but the side where you know I and others with auto-immune diseases might not be. That’s a real possibility.

I am now nine days since testing positive for Covid; all vaxed and boosted, it still got me. I know so many people that have had this Omicron variant, and it doesn’t seem as bad as the previous Delta variant, or so I have heard. But I am still sick and hope that once this posts, it will be a memory.

Another way to show your love by getting a vaccine: you lessen the likelihood of needing a hospital bed if you get Covid. Does that in any way motivate you?

I know people that have refused to get vaccinated, and when I ask them why, not one of them has come up with a valid response. To me a valid response would be “I am allergic to what is in the vaccine.”

That sounds reasonable. Other than that, I just don’t get it. I also don’t believe that anyone should be mandated to taka a vaccine or put anything that they are against in their body. Call it my bleeding liberal heart.

Even though I find it hard to move on, I am going to move on by asking everyone who isn’t vaccinated to please think about your friends and loved ones who will get very sick if they catch Covid. Do you want to be the cause of someone you love being sick, hospitalized, or worse?

On the bright side, across the globe, more than 8 billion doses have been administered, and 3.8 billion people, just under half of all of humanity, are fully vaccinated. While these numbers need to be higher, that so many people have been vaccinated—in just under a year—is one of the most extraordinary public health accomplishments in human history. It’s a powerful reminder of our ingenuity and capabilities.

This Valentine’s Day think of love and do the thing that will help keep others safe: get vaccinated.

Maria Sammartino (aka Sam Martino), is a writer and artist for over 15 years. Maria started at Out In Jersey as the news editor in 2009, and shortly thereafter became the Editor-In-Chief. She has been published in the Philadelphia Gay News, The International Journal of MS Care, and others. Maria goes by Sam Martino because she believes that women are never given a fair shot - and doesn’t want her art or her writing to be judged based on her sex, but on the merit of the work.