Yes, states are starting to open up. And yes, people are starting to go back to work. There are even signs that the economy is improving, albeit slowly. But as all of this is happening, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are on the rise.
And you know what, I get it. I’ve been cooped up in my stuffy house, working from home, stress eating and watching Tiger King, and trying to figure out how I can get three seconds alone, away from my children, so I can remember what it feels like to not be asked for more snacks. And yes, restrictions are easing some, but just because your area might have moved into to phase 2 or 3 of reopening, doesn’t mean you can go hog wild with large social gatherings, and disregard safety precautions.
Just because we are not in full lockdown anymore doesn’t mean we can pretend life is normal again. It’s not.
Sure, cases have decreased in some areas of the country — New York, for example. However, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 has surged in at least seven states, according to The Washington Post, including Texas, Arizona, Nevada, South Carolina, Montana, Georgia and California. Overall, cases of COVID-19 have increased dramatically all over the country, leading some states to pull back on their re-opening plans.
And keep in mind, states like Texas and Arizona were some of the first to ease restrictions. Chances are, if your state pulled back on social distancing late in the game, you are headed for the same increase in cases unless you take proper precautions.
On the global scale, there are more than 10.3 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus. And in the U.S., there are more than 2.6 million cases and at least 124,000 deaths reported as of this moment, as I write this sentence.
Facts are facts: the virus hasn’t gone anywhere, and it doesn’t care if you like wearing a mask or not. It doesn’t care if you need a haircut, or you really, really, miss hanging out with your family and friends. And it certainly doesn’t care which political party you are affiliated with.
Both Democrats and Republicans can be placed on a ventilator when COVID-19 gets out of control.
It’s still here. It’s still infecting thousands of people a day.
When you sit down and really look at the numbers, it’s grim, people. According to recent data, one of the major contributors are people between the ages of 20 and 40. I’m not one to call out an age group, but chances are, if you are reading an article on Scary Mommy, you fit right smack into this demographic. The logic here is that if you are between 20 and 40, you are more likely to experience mild symptoms. And you know what, that’s cool and all. Good for you. But the real issue is that if you get COVID, have a mild case, and then continue to disregard social distancing and other public health recommendations, you can end up passing that virus on to someone who is not as healthy, and could ultimately die from the virus.
Here is a quote from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, speaking on what happens when healthy 20-40 year old’s get infected, “They get infected first, then they come home, and then they infect the older people. The older people get the complications, and then they go to the hospitals,” Fauci said. But the last part of his comment is what I really want you to pay attention to: “The death rate always lags several weeks behind the infection rate.”
So let’s add this all up. COVID is still with us, and as states open up, it is getting worse. According to many experts, it’s not about avoiding a second wave because we are still in the first wave. States are advising people to use caution, like social distancing, hand washing, and wearing a mask. Lots of people are full of caution fatigue, and 20 to 40-year-olds are using the logic “If I get it, chances are I’m not going to get that sick, so it’s no big deal.” However, that is a very selfish way to look at public health, according to the above quote from Dr. Fauci.
None of this is good.
I get it. Our world has been turned upside down. And I get that you are tired of staying home. It’s summer time. You want to get out. Fine. Go out responsibly. That’s it. You know the guidelines. Stay six feet apart. Wash your hands. Don’t go out if you are feeling ill. And for goodness sakes, wear a mask. If we don’t take these precautions, people will die. Actually, scratch that: people are dying. And they will continue to do so, until we get it together and act like we’re still in the middle of a damn pandemic.