It has been known but rarely reported in mainstream media or by government health authorities that vaccinated individuals can and do spread and contract the virus. We are bombarded daily to get vaccinated and the unvaccinated are blamed for outbreaks and COVID-19 surges.

Depending on your overall health, vaccinated individuals can and do experience serious symptoms and are hospitalized, and even die. They can and do contract and spread the virus. Likewise, unvaccinated individuals experience all of the above as well.

My concern is vaccinated individuals as well as unvaccinated individuals can and do experience mild to little symptoms and be carriers of the virus and unknowingly go out and spread the virus. Hence, it's my choice to make if I want to be vaccinated or not. Mandating the vaccine is wrong.

I am not saying others should not get vaccinated. I'm saying it's my decision when I will get vaccinated.

As individuals, we have the right to choose to get vaccinated to protect ourselves, our family and others from serious symptoms as health officials have reported, with the operative word "choose." I do, however, have an issue with being mandated, discriminated and segregated. If I choose not to get vaccinated I am discriminated and segregated and by executive orders either to get vaccinated or adhere to weekly testing or I am subject to dismissal/termination by my employer.

With the delta virus rampant in the community, recent COVID-19-positive cases (were) in the triple digits daily and (there have been) high numbers being hospitalized and deaths (were) on a rapid upswing. I advocate, knowing it will be not a popular idea, that our governor order a lockdown for a minimum of 14 days to curb the spread and deaths!

As a temporary measure, especially with our children not attending face-to-face schooling and triple digits positive cases, I would advocate for employers both private and government to allow staff except for essential workers to telework until we get control of the surge of positive cases. The next few days/weeks will dictate what decisions are made regarding this latest surge in positive cases. 

Stay safe, Guam. Follow all precautionary measures and prevent the spread – vaccinated or not.

We must focus on prevention protocols and testing and not discrimination and segregation. Mandating vaccination is not warranted we as individuals can and will make that decision ourselves.

Lastly, a question to DPHSS: is the Guam Alert App being used in assisting with contact tracing? I haven't heard anything for months if it's still being utilized.

Dave Duenas is a resident of Dededo

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