Between June 8 and July 13 – a period of five weeks — there were 10 total cases of COVID-19 reported between Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside. Having endured a pandemic where more than 3,500 local residents have been infected by the novel coronavirus and 20 people have died, those kinds of low numbers were welcome.

But with the rate of vaccinations against COVID-19 trailing off far from the numbers needed to create herd immunity and a new highly contagious variant of the disease now accounting for a majority of new cases in the United States, according to a recent report by the Washington Post, freedom from the pandemic appears in doubt.

In the last week alone, there were 10 new combined cases reported in Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside, the same number reported in total over the prior five weeks. Now, 10 is not a large number by itself, but with the COVID-19 delta variant now rampant in the country, it is more important than ever to become vaccinated against the disease.

And yet, fewer and fewer people are choosing to do so, despite vaccines being our only way to beat this pandemic and despite the fact that they come at no charge to those getting them and can be had as easily as walking into your local pharmacy and asking for one.

It staggers the imagination. There is a cure for a plague and yet there are so many people who still resist it. Future generations will look back and gape in disbelief.

Millions upon millions of people have chosen to get vaccinated and data suggests the vaccines are highly effective. The Washington Post article noted that earlier this month the Center for Disease Control’s director, Rachel Walensky, stated during a news conference that data in recent months suggests 99.5 percent of deaths from COVID-19 have been people who were not vaccinated.

Make no mistake, if resistance to the vaccine continues as the delta variant spreads or mutates into other, more contagious strains, we will not exit this pandemic. If you like not having to wear masks, going to restaurants and sporting events, attending school in actual classrooms and visiting with friends and families then the choice is clear: You must get vaccinated.

Watch for motorcycles

With another vehicle versus motorcycle crash in North Riverside last week, there have been at least five such crashes in the Landmark’s coverage area since spring, one of them fatal and others resulting in serious injuries.

While it’s incumbent on motorcyclists themselves to slow down and drive sensibly, it’s imperative that other motorists take their time and look and listen carefully for motorcycles before they turn or go through intersections.

Crashes involving motorcycles are rarely fender benders. They often result in critical injuries and death. Please be careful out there.