When the COVID pandemic began over two years ago, most of us could not have imagined the impact it would have on numerous lives around the world. Despite our country’s best efforts, widespread cases were reported in most U.S. states by April 2020. Social distancing and masking in public were mandated by the government, with locally owned businesses suffering and an unemployment rate at its worst since the Great Depression.
As COVID has progressed and taken a firm grip on the populace, we have witnessed new variants with people experiencing various forms of illness and/or death due to being exposed to the virus. It has been frustrating to say the least. We’ve experienced numerous recommendations. We’ve seen masking mandates come and go. We’ve seen an overwhelming amount of misinformation published online through social media platforms and we’ve been told about the continued need for boosters after having the initial doses of the vaccine. Better yet, we’ve recently experienced what appeared to be some reprieve from the Pandemic, giving many people the hope that life is returning to what it was before COVID.
Many public venues reopened with no social distancing or masking requirements; no proof of being vaccinated required. Famous musicians are back on tour having concerts across the country, Broadway reopened with performances resuming, people are able to attend professional sporting events, and adolescents are now back in their schools attending in person instead of online.
People are tired of COVID and all the uncertainties, misinformation, social media debates, and politicizing we’ve all witnessed. It’s not uncommon to see various comments attached to articles, blogs, and social media posts of people stating they are done with COVID, COVID is no longer an issue, or that too many organizations are over-saturating news medias with information about COVID. They wish to no longer see it. We are done with COVID!
The problem is COVID isn’t done with us.
COVID has been looming in the background all along, ever evolving and changing how it can affect the population. Peoples’ health and safety have been at risk all this time despite the return to normalcy. Meanwhile, the government, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and the WHO (World Health Organization), to name a few, have been providing current updated information on a weekly basis, continuing to put forth an incredible amount of effort to assure the public is updated about the COVID virus, the potential for new treatments, and recommendations of boosters and what section of the public qualifies.
Despite the research and evidence-based information provided by so many, it seems people are ignoring the valuable information and disregarding the continued recommendations. People are choosing to not wear a mask when in public places, in areas with high community transmission. Some have decided against getting their recommended boosters.
No matter what a person decides to do, no matter what anybody chooses to believe, no matter what political party you belong to, the evidence shows that COVID is far from over. The number of positive cases continue to increase across the United States, now reaching more than 82,000,000.
The number of COVID related deaths was recently reported to pass 1,000,000, with a current increase in COVID related hospitalizations. The Omicron variant continues to change and modify, becoming more efficient at spreading, and avoiding a person’s immunity system.
Ignoring the COVID pandemic isn’t going to make it go away. It’s not going to somehow change the transmissibility of the virus and suddenly prevent its ability to mutate, adapt, and survive. We need to follow the guidelines provided by the CDC, including masking when in indoor public places, getting vaxxed and boosted, practicing proper hand hygiene, social distancing, and testing if exposed or symptomatic. We’re all frustrated, tired, and simply done with COVID, but we need to realize COVID isn’t done with us!
Rick Bressler is a husband, father, and Veteran of the United States Army, who wants to share his experiences as a COVID survivor to help promote getting vaccinated and wearing a mask.