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Stop Pretending the COVID-19 Pandemic Is Over

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It wasn’t the stay at home orders or the closing down of virtually everything in sight that bothered me the most since the coronavirus pandemic began. It was the sheer fact that a virus emerged that had the capacity to be deadly for so many people. We had to do everything possible to slow the spread. We needed to protect our loved ones and those that are most vulnerable from contracting it. Before the lockdowns, we did not have any protocols in place, but now is a different moment in time. We can and should be wearing masks, washing our hands and practicing social distancing — yet I see fewer and fewer people doing so.

As the lockdowns continue to ease up around the country and all over the world, I find I am not ready to just jump right back into things. As a self-professed germophobe, I tend to err on the side of caution. This week, it has been widely reported here in the U.S. that 22 states have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases. When I see people at the store not wearing a mask, I am irritated. When I see people gathering in crowds, I am worried.

There are people who need to go to the store or go to a doctor’s appointment who cannot afford to catch this virus. If you need to leave the house and are not in a high-risk group, think of the safety of others when doing so. After everything we have sacrificed these past few months, I wonder, will it all have been for nothing? Is it inevitable that we are all going to get sick with it at some point? I have been at home with my kids for months, we have taken precautions to keep everyone as safe as possible and I’m not about to throw caution to the wind.

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Between my husband and I, we know of four people who tested positive for COVID-19. One of them showed virtually no symptoms while the other three became seriously ill and required hospitalization. Dr. Amy Edwards of Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland stated they have seen a recent uptick in hospitalizations amongst children who have tested positive. In the beginning of this pandemic, it was thought children were carriers and that they do not become as sick as the older population. Clearly, there is much more we still need to learn about this virus.

Even though we are tired of being at home and restrictions are loosening up, it does not mean this virus has magically disappeared. As someone who has been “staying at home” long before this virus emerged, I understand the need to get out of the house. It’s important for our mental health but we need to be careful in what we’re choosing to do. I could never forgive myself if I brought this home to my children or exposed my parents because I gave up taking precautions. Just because we can leave our homes more freely, doesn’t mean we should be out every chance we get. I’m going to need more convincing that this virus is really on its way out. I’m not buying into conspiracy theories.

It does not sit well with me that after all the progress we have made, it seems so many people are in denial of the fact this virus is still very much around. It’s also scary to see how many people are no longer taking this pandemic seriously. Maybe they are over it; we all are. But shouldn’t we still be taking all the recommended precautions? We are supposed to be protecting each other. If we don’t, we might end up back at square one and that is a place nobody wants to be.

For more on the coronavirus, check out the following stories from our community:

Getty image by Gorodenkoff.

Originally published: June 25, 2020
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