It’s time for COVID to come back into daily conversation here and across the country.
The Omicron variant is powering a surge unlike anything we have seen before. Schools, restaurants and businesses are starting to close again. Hospitals report 100%-200% increases.
The U.S. broke its average daily case record on Sunday, January 2, with 404,743 infections, according to Johns Hopkins and CNN. 78% of ICU beds are full.
Our editor can attest to the crisis in our hospitals. She took a COVID long hauler to the ER last week. The wait was about six hours for a bed and in the end there was little they could do to alleviate the symptoms.
Imagine if half the population wasn’t vaccinated? The load on ERs and hospitals would prevent almost anyone from getting care.
Families were able to be together over the holidays due to the selflessness of everyone who got vaccinated. It’s only due to the fact that a bare minimum of people are vaccinated that anyone with higher risk factors can engage in normal life.
We feel deep gratitude that families were able to gather around Christmas tables because of medical professionals and scientists who worked so hard to develop the vaccine. They are the true heroes of 2021.
It looks like 2022 will start with a crushing wave of the Omicron variant. It’s hard to maintain the level of vigilance with which we began the pandemic. Political polarization weakened our national resolve. Plain old fatigue wore down our physical and psychological barricades.
Nevertheless, it is possible to look forward to 2022 with positivity. We have a lot going for us, not the least of which is our love of our neighbors.
So get a new mask. Experts now recommend a new N-95-grade mask every day if you can manage it. Renew your inner bulwark of vigilance. Go forth with the intention to protect yourself and your neighbor.
Be kind. Be grateful. Be safe.