The most important story this week is the precipitous rise in COVID-19 cases in our community. An increase from 22 to over 62 in a week is way too much.
It’s been a real temptation to loosen up our personal vigilance this summer. The pandemic has been with us for so long it’s hard to stay worked up about it anymore. It’s part of human nature to acclimate to stress and threat. We crave safety and naturally love predictability.
As a global society we have known this point was coming: The moment when we want the threat to be over, when we unconsciously think “It hasn’t touched me so far, so it’s not going to,” and when we just can’t keep up the same level of adrenaline.
The vaccines make a huge difference. But COVID is still dangerous. When the pandemic started, one of our staff members stated it would take three years for things to get back to normal. This wasn’t a dire prediction. It was a fact based on scientific knowledge and a study of history.
As we head into the end of summer, it’s time to renew our sense of urgency. America has lost over six hundred thousand people already. Family, neighbors, college roommates, foster parents, church friends, Legion post buddies, native-speakers, artists, students, and children.
This board continues to recognize that the number one priority of our culture needs to be the protection of our weakest members. It is our opinion that the recovery of the economy, the resumption of school, loosening of restrictions in workplaces, etc. all need to take a backseat to extreme care for the health and survival of everyone.
This is not to say the economic and social problems caused by the pandemic are not real, they are. When we put the welfare of the community before individual convenience, we will be better able to solve them.
Wear a mask. There’s nothing wrong with wearing two and layering an N-95 mask under a cloth mask. Understand how the virus and the Delta variant move through breath and vapor. Be kind to each other and support those working to save all of our lives.
We welcome a new voice to the West River Eagle this week. Alanna Taylor is a writer and blogger who is curious to learn about the people of Cheyenne River and Eagle Butte. This week she brings us a story about the recent batch of data released by the Census Bureau and its impact on Indian Country and across the country.
Remember, we are looking for local people to write and take pictures! Send in your photos of life around town and the beauty of Wakpa Waste. Reach out to email@example.com to see about writing. We can start with something small and there’s lots of support!