A year ago, we were so afraid of COVID-19 that we stayed home for months during the lockdown and followed CDC guidelines even to an excess. Streets were hauntingly empty. The world overnight was in a mix of chaos and standstill. Time and travel froze.
And now? That fear is mostly gone as vaccine is here and many accepted the pandemic fatigue as okay. Mask has been tossed, even burned. Mask mandates and safety guidelines had been hurriedly lifted like the virus and its more infectious variants suddenly just disappeared. It hasn’t!
Many are back to pre-pandemic lifestyle regardless of Science and daily positive cases of new infections, deaths and hospitalizations. Yes, the numbers are greatly reduced but the constantly mutating virus is now more widespread than it was a year ago.
People around me act surprised when family and friends still get COVID-19 after their vaccination. Why? Weren’t we told it’s NOT a cure? It was created to lessen the severity of the disease symptoms and complications. It was meant to prevent us from being hospitalized and from dying.
As for Herd Immunity, that takes time and unity. We are far from it but to prevent more anger and unrest, leaders are pressured to give assurance and promises. I wish they are true but as a frontline Heathcare worker, I’m seeing the same trend and pattern. Nothing change in 2021 except the vaccine arrival.
If people are truly paying attention to data like the daily COVID-19 Tracker by John Hopkins University and the events around the country from Spring Break beach parties to mass gatherings, in a matter of several weeks, likely by April, the first Surge or Wave of the new COVID-19 variants for 2021 will begin. Perhaps the vaccinated needed have to worry much but what about those who haven’t and the vulnerable?
The Flu Vaccine has NOT stop people from getting sick or die from the common Flu year after year, what makes COVID-19 anymore different? We were warned COVID-19 does not discriminate and it is relentless in its pursuit to cause harm. The warnings are still effective and very real.
Thank God there is light now at the end of the tunnel but the distance from that light to where we are is still far and non-negotiable. There are no shortcuts. Politics and bullshit doesn’t work. To assume there is or to ignore the signs and warnings again will bring us back exactly to where we were a year ago.
I want to let go of COVID-19. I want to just move forward because it’s too exhausting and negative, but I feel I have the responsibility to warn others as we are heading to repeat the devastating and deadly historical events of 2020.
Change happens when people come together willing to sacrifice and work hard to make it happen. No shortcuts but it will be worth it.