Here we are again, at the beginning of another wave of the pandemic. Despite the rising COVID numbers, in terms of infections and hospitalizations, I do believe that this will be the last, or second to last wave.
I do not believe that this wave will be as severe as previous waves thanks to the now widely distributed vaccine as well as new anti-virals. I think; I hope that hospitalizations remain low. That has always been the bottomline. If thousands contract COVID, but only a small handful suffer severe symptoms, then that is a noteworthy improvement in our fight against the virus.
That being said, there are still things that we can do to continue to support our frontline healthcare workers and protect ourselves from COVID-19.
One is to get the booster vaccine. Last week the province of Ontario made a fourth booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine available to those aged 60 and over as well as Indigenous and Metis peoples. In February, a study in the United States showed that while the effectiveness of the third dose of the booster vaccine waned overtime, as expected, it was still 78 per cent effective at preventing hospitalization.
Another thing is masking. Wearing masks has become so politicized through the course of this pandemic.
In Asian countries like Japan since the SARS pandemic of 2003, wearing masks has become common place, not because they are mandatory (prior to the COVID-19 pandemic they were not), but because it is seen as a courtesy to others. If someone is sick, they should wear a mask to, in a small way, do something to help prevent the spread of disease, any respiratory disease.
Doctors, nurses and other medical staff still wear masks all of the time.
Since Ontario has dropped its mask mandate however, I have seen far fewer people wearing them.
I still wear masks whenever I go indoors in a public place. I am not particularly worried about getting COVID-19. I’m young, I’m triple vaxxed, I doubt I would wind up in hospital (you never know though). I wear a mask because of the nature of my work. I travel all over Cornwall and the Counties and meet many people through the course of my day. There is always the chance that I could be infected with COVID-19 and be asymptomatic, but I could easily spread it to a good handful of people in a single day and not know it, so, I mask up.
Keeping COVID hospitalizations down is in all of our interests. If COVID-19 hospitalizations do climb again, well, we’ve seen what happens. Non-urgent procedures get cancelled, serious diseases go undiagnosed, and in the worst of scenarios, maybe there aren’t enough available beds for victims of car accidents, heart attacks, or strokes.
We are almost at a point I believe where COVID will not be the danger to society that it has been. There will come a time, in the near future, maybe six months to a year, where COVID-19 will be like the common flu. COVID-19 will still sadly kill people, but it won’t be the same threat it once was.
I feel that the most misunderstood thing about this pandemic is the threat that it poses. The threat isn’t necessarily that it will kill you personally, because while yes it might, there is a good chance it won’t. The threat is that it will clog up our healthcare system and that is the threat, that is the danger to us all. So, as we enter a sixth wave take heart that things are getting better. Take heart that we are not being asked to stay indoors. Take heart that our sports, concerts and other public gatherings aren’t being cancelled, but, also do your part to help keep it that way. Get vaxxed and mask up.
What do you think readers? Email me your Letter to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org