It’s difficult to fathom that we first entered Covid-19 lockdowns over two years ago. How can so much time go by so quickly — particularly when those two years have been filled with so …
It’s difficult to fathom that we first entered Covid-19 lockdowns over two years ago. How can so much time go by so quickly — particularly when those two years have been filled with so many days of trepidation and concern regarding an illness that has killed nearly one million Americans and 6.2 million people worldwide?
The stage we currently find ourselves in regarding the pandemic is one of almost apathetic indifference to the disease that has turned our world upside down and upended weddings, small businesses and leisure travel plans for so many of us for so long. We know it’s out there, but at this point, nobody aside from those who are at very high risk from the virus is living their lives much differently than they did two years ago, before the world changed.
To Rhode Islanders’ credit, we’ve reached that point of indifference through doing the right thing — getting vaccinated. Although we wished that by this point, vaccine skepticism would be completely eradicated — considering the hundreds of millions of doses given thus far hasn’t resulted in a massive government-sponsored extinction event — many still hold onto that fear-driven belief for whatever reason suits them. Their selfishness aside, enough people have done the right thing to allow us to get back to a place of normalcy, where the vast majority of people are no longer at risk of terrible consequences from catching the virus.
That layer of protection offered by the vaccine, combined with the fatigue we are all experiencing in responding to the threat of Covid as though it is the harbinger of our demise, is resulting in even our vaccine-favorable state to become vulnerable to another wave of the virus.
The BA.2 variants of Covid are becoming more and more prevalent across the world and, again, in the United States. The majority of these cases, to be clear, are not requiring hospitalizations, but they do unfortunately thrust talk of gathering restrictions and mandatory masking back into the conversation once again — a conversation that fewer and fewer people seem to want to have.
It is an understandable stance, considering the relative risk of the average person actually being seriously sickened or killed by this strain of Covid. However, we cannot forget the role we play in protecting our most vulnerable citizens — the immunocompromised, the elderly, the healthcare professionals with elderly or immunocompromised loved ones whom they cannot safely see. Our decisions are not merely our decisions when responding to this virus — a lesson we should clearly understand by now.
Although we may never be able to squash this virus and its presence from our lives, we cannot let ourselves get to a place of total complacency, and work hard to prevent as many unnecessary outbreaks, and resulting deaths, as possible.
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