EDITORIAL: Believe it or not, covid is not over. Take precautions

ellis_vaccine_16dec2020_provided.jpg
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Believe it or not, covid is still raging. Take precautions

You can ignore it you want to.

You can lock into your own beliefs about whether vaccines are really effective and whether there’s really the need for booster shots or whether children really need to get vaccinated or whether you should wear masks indoors and maintain social distancing.

You can do all you can to believe the covid crisis has passed.

It’s lasted too long, you think in your head. The worst is over. It should be gone by now.

But you can’t ignore the statistics about the upsurge in cases and the frightening rise in hospitalizations and deaths as we hunker down for another winter indoors.

You can wish it wasn’t happening. But you can’t wish it away.

If you want to be thankful for anything this Thanksgiving holiday, be thankful that you’re not one of the people for whom this pandemic is still very real.

Nationwide, the number of covid cases in the United States have increased 27% in the past two weeks.

Cases are increasing particularly quickly in children, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

From Nov. 11 to 18, nearly 142,000 children reported getting the virus, an increase of 32% from just two weeks ago.

Here in New York, we’re also seeing a resurgence in some places, particularly Western New York, the Finger Lakes and some Capital Region counties.

As of Monday, 23 of the state’s 62 counties – more than a third – had infection rates above 10%.

Columbia and Washington counties were at more than 11%, and others were creeping toward that number.

Glens Falls Hospital on Tuesday reported that it was at its highest patient capacity since the pandemic began, and as of Tuesday had admitted over 50 patients for covid, most of whom were unvaccinated.

But despite the rising number of cases and deaths, many people are still skeptical that the virus is making a resurgence.

There was an exchange of thoughts going back and forth on Twitter on Tuesday, the day after Erie County’s executive announced a new mask mandate for indoor public spaces in response to his county seeing a nearly 10% spike in cases in the last couple of weeks.

“I live in Erie County. I am vaccinated. I will not comply,” tweeted one person defiantly.

He got this response from another Twitter user:

“I live in Erie County too. I am vaccinated. Cases are rising. I will comply to ensure people safety, especially at school, where some folks has weak immune system.”

Along those lines, another person tweeted: “Must suck to still live in Erie County,” to which someone tweeted back: “Yeah, but imagine how it must feel to die in Erie County.”

See, that’s the point here.

You might not be taking it seriously. You might think your antibodies or natural immunity will protect you. You might think your being vaccinated means you can’t spread it to others who are more vulnerable. You might think that Round 2 of this pandemic isn’t as bad as Round 1 was.

But you might be wrong. And you might just be lucky.

The fact of the matter is that it is affecting people. It is real to many people.

Many people are very sick from this. Many people are suffering on respirators. Many people are dying from this. Many people are losing loved ones, just like before.

And many medical professionals are again facings the stresses of overwhelming numbers of new patients and placing their lives at risk taking care of new covid patients.

If you don’t believe it, if you don’t fear it, if it’s over for you, then at the very least, as a human being, you owe it to your fellow human beings, your family members and friends, to take the proper precautions.

Reconsider your Thanksgiving plans if they involve large family gatherings, especially if elderly or sick relatives plan to attend.

If you don’t personally think masks work, put one on anyway. It won’t hurt you, and it may help keep someone from getting sick.

Keep your distance from people, especially elderly people.

Avoid large indoor gatherings where the disease can spread quickly to many people.

Honor mask mandates and requests by businesses and other venues to put it on. Don’t give them your indignant attitude. They’re just trying to prevent people from getting sick.

Winter is just beginning, when we’re all indoors and more likely to be exposed. Behave like it’s 2020.

And get the damn vaccine. Hundreds of millions of people around the globe have gotten it safely.

One local doctor Tuesday pleaded with people to get vaccinated, citing the statistics:

“You are 11 times – 11 times – more likely to die from covid-19 as an adult if you are not vaccinated.

“I simply can’t put it any other way; you owe it to yourself and those you love to get vaccinated.”

If you’re still hesitant about the vaccine, get your own doctor’s advice.

If you want to stick your head in the sand and think this is over, that’s your decision. But make no mistake, this is not over, as much as we’d all like it to be.

At the very least, be responsible for how your behavior might affect others, and act like a human being.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

Leave a Reply