We generally try to avoid cliché in this space and every other one in our paper, but we need to address the Delta variant, the steep rise in new cases in our counties and elsewhere, and our vaccination rate, which is nowhere near the place it needs to be nor is it rising commensurate with the new threat.

And we know that our readers, by and large, are of the demographic most likely to trust science in the face of this dire threat to humanity — or, at least, a threat to the much-anticipated summer/fall slate of events. And as readers of Triad City Beat, we know you seek accurate and current information — excepting, of course, those of you who read us because you hate us.

But we’ve got to wring our hands about this anyway. In our state alone, new daily coronavirus cases are hitting pre-vaccine numbers and current hospitalizations have climbed back up into four-figure territory. Deaths are escalating, too, almost exclusively among the non-vaccinated.

And yet, most Guilford and Forsyth county residents have yet to become vaccinated, the rate stuck still at 48 percent. Statewide just 47 percent of the population has been vaccinated. And the pernicious nature of the Delta variant means we are all vulnerable to it, whether we’ve gotten the jab or not.

So how can we keep ourselves and our families safe from this pool of COVID deniers and Delta superspreaders?

There is a process in place. Restrictions are coming back already, including masking and social distancing. If the numbers don’t take a turn for the better, events will start getting cancelled again, one by one, just like they did in March 2020. Perhaps that will drive it home.

Still, one of the characteristics of COVID-19 is that it has a way of asserting itself among those who don’t believe in it: It infects them. In that, it can be quite convincing.

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