I have to say this again: Thank you to all of our healthcare professionals and essential workers who continue to hustle through the COVID-19 pandemic despite the risk it poses to themselves and their loved ones.

I want to remind everyone that despite some restrictions being lifted, the pandemic is far from over.

Remember last summer? It was like a quick spurt of freedom because the warm weather allowed everyone to be outdoors which allowed rules to become a bit more flexible.

This summer is no different.

I am not saying we will go into shutdown once the warm weather ends but it is important to keep in mind that the delta variant has COVID-19 cases surging once again.

If you don't believe me, maybe you will believe a New Jersey medical professional.

Her name is Judy Janansky. She is a pharmacist here in New Jersey who has also worked on the front lines during the pandemic to help.

This isn't the first time I have referenced Judy's experiences on the frontlines because she has seen the worst of the worst in our hospitals. 

Here is what she wrote only a few days ago:

I am not trying to scare you. I am trying to educate you.

When you are 18-years-old, that is when your body is at its prime and your immune system is supposed to be strong.

Well, someone who is that age is in the hospital because he requires oxygen to be administered so he can breathe.

I have heard a lot of people say that if you are healthy, this virus will simply knock you on your behind for a few days and then you'll be back to it.

This is a misconception that occurred when health professionals were trying to warn those who have pre-existing health conditions that they are at a higher risk to be killed by COVID-19.

But I don't think this warning was meant to tell "healthy people" that they are safe.

If you are not comfortable getting the vaccine, it is 100% your choice. But I feel that it is my responsibility to share this post that I found with you so you know exactly what you are dealing with.

If you are under a certain age: that does not mean you are safe.

If you are considered healthy: that does not mean you are safe.

You have to make your own choices that are comfortable for you but this very post is  why those who are unvaccinated might soon find themselves being restricted from walking into stores, bars, restaurants and more.

If you are in a spot where you are willing to get the vaccine and haven't done so already, I hope seeing this post pushes you over the edge to officially decide, "Yes, I will be getting the vaccine."

It protects you and those around you and the goal is to get through this with the least amount of lives lost as possible.

Stay safe everyone.

The States Where People Live The Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

Have You Even Heard of the 30 Tiniest Towns in New Jersey?

These are the 25 Best Places To Live in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.