In the US, just like in the rest of the world, the pandemic seems to be far from over. Many issues are currently slowing down the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
A new wave can occur anytime, as long as there is community transmission because the virus mutates all the time and can change its transmission, contagion, and pathogenic properties. Some voices say that a new wave has already begun, and it will get much worse before it will all be over.
Following the numbers
According to the CDC, our country is seeing a rise in Infections, hospitalization, and deaths once again. This month, 35% of US counties are dealing with a high level of community transmission. In addition, the number of COVID19 cases is on the rise in 90% of US jurisdictions whit daily outbreaks in parts where there is a low vaccination coverage.
These are disturbing news since the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is the main culprit here, and it was already established that its rapid spread and highly transmissible nature make up for 83.2% of the recent US cases.
Last week, the CDC stated that “the current 7-day moving average of daily new cases (40,246) increased 46.7% compared with the previous 7-day moving average (27,443).” – Source.
At this moment, things seem to have “returned to normal,” and some people believe that an increase in COVID-19 cases shouldn’t be of concern since we had a much worse situation last year, and now, we have various vaccines that can help us fight the disease.
This may be only partially true, and we need to look at the bigger picture to understand what’s happening. An increase in new cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, and hospitalizations will increase, leading to more deaths. At the same time, with every new case, the virus will have more opportunities to mutate, leading to the emergence of new variants.
Why is the number of COVID19 cases on the rise?
Many factors led to the current increase of COVID19 cases. Once the restrictions were lifted in many states, people have begun to relax. They seem to have forgotten all about the pandemic that crippled our country and the entire world.
We returned to our old selves, and we don’t want to hear any more about social distancing, wearing a mask, or getting vaccinated. Even the common-sense personal hygiene seems to have lost its purpose to some folks now that we are all “free.”
People refuse to wear a mask regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, and they no longer want to follow the rules. You’ve probably seen videos online about people being denied service by certain businesses for not wearing a mask or people being escorted off planes for the same reason. Some folks can no longer comply with the rules set by certain institutions, and they would rather lose their privileges than wearing a mask one more time.
Lack of access to the vaccine, real or perceived, is another factor that leads to the increase in COVID-19 cases. Some folks still don’t have access to the vaccine even though the access has been dramatically expanded in recent months, and the federal government is delivering more doses than before. Other folks are in the wait-and-see phase, and they are waiting to see how the situation develops in their region, or they believe that the vaccine isn’t free and assume they can’t afford it.
The vaccine side effects are a significant concern, even if some of these side effects are not real or proven. The internet is full of contradictory information about the vaccine itself and its long-term health risks or unproven claims like infertility.
Also, it seems that there is an increase of cases in the young population, and all those that missed human interaction and socializing with their peers are now taking advantage of every opportunity they’ve got to make themselves seen, heard, and touched. As a result, more and more young, healthy people are now admitted to hospitals with severe Covid infections.
The levels of anxiety and frustration have reached an all-time high, and people can no longer cope with the stress caused by the pandemic. Feelings of fear, anger, sadness, frustration that has been bubbling for the past one and a half years are now starting to burst. In addition, the lack of trust in institutions makes people hesitant. After all, you can’t trust a health system that is a letdown for many of the government agencies that provided support or helped companies develop the vaccine when they could have prevented the disease from spreading so rapidly in the first place.
How about those vaccines?
Once the vaccines were developed, people regained hope, and some couldn’t wait to get vaccinated to return to their everyday lives. For a while, it seemed that we had the means to make all of this go away. Unfortunately, even though it was proved countless times that the vaccines do work, it seems that we are still not on the right track with getting people on board.
People don’t want to get vaccinated, and there’s a whole debate regarding the topic of vaccinations. Some fear that the vaccines may contain harmful substances, while others do not believe in the existence of the disease; therefore, there isn’t the need to get vaccinated.
Others refuse to get immunized due to religious beliefs, and some do not want to become “lab rats.” It seems that the country is divided, and the vaccine may not be enough to end the pandemic and bring us together.
As of now, 56.4% of the US population has received at least one dose, and it is estimated that around 49% of the entire population is fully vaccinated. However, the number of vaccinations is barely increasing from one week to another, and the vaccination effort is going slower than expected.
The CDC states that if you are only partially vaccinated, you are more likely to get infected. You will eventually get sick, and you will also spread the virus to other people. Those that are fully vaccinated are protected against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
As we specified before, the more the virus spread, the bigger the chances of new mutations to emerge, and in my opinion, this will lead to the need to administer an additional vaccine dose. With the current vaccinations campaign and effort going on worldwide, it seems that the virus is here to stay. More than 70% of the US population could be vaccinated, and we could still “import” new virus variants from other countries. We will have a never-ending fighting cycle, and there’s no telling if we can beat this thing or not.
And to add insult to injury, the vaccination effort is considerably slowed by various conspiracy theories surrounding the vaccine itself. It is estimated that half the people who refuse to get vaccinated believe at least one conspiracy theory regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines had a bad rep in general, but it seems that these vaccines are getting the crown regarding conspiracy theories. It also doesn’t help that social media is spreading misinformation and ideas about the vaccine.
What you should do
To protect yourself and your loved ones, you first need to understand that you are the sole responsible for your actions. You need to do your research and discuss with medical professionals before taking one decision or another.
Our goal at Survivopedia is not to convince anyone that they need to get vaccinated because that is a personal decision. Only you can decide what’s best for you and yours. However, we encourage people to get informed and prepare as best they can for the uncertainties the future may bring. That being said, here are a few suggestions to remain prepared for the ongoing pandemic.
Get informed from verified sources
The reasons that prevent many folks from getting the vaccine vary from one person to another and sometimes may be seen as ridiculous by those around them. People fail to understand that fear is a powerful feeling, and it can affect our lives in ways we cannot imagine.
Rather than condemning someone for being fearful of the vaccine, try to support them and provide the correct information. As long as you can reason with them, you can have a constructive discussion, and hopefully, they will have all their questions answered. We can’t assume what others are thinking or feeling, and it’s best to try to understand and support them.
Also, understand that you can’t get vaccinated once you get infected, and you need to wait at least 60 days before getting the vaccine. People falsely believe that if they get the diseases and get admitted to the hospital, they will take the shot if things take a turn for the worse, and they will be alright. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work like that, and you need to understand how the vaccine works and what your options are before you end up in the ICU.
With the relaxation measures being adopted by more and more states, people seem to have forgotten that just washing your hands should be common sense and not an imposed measure to protect yourself against viral infections.
If there is low vaccination coverage in your area, it would be an intelligent decision to wear a mask and maintain social distancing. If you have people that have preexisting health issues in your family or social circles and are not vaccinated, try to limit their exposure to crowded areas and advise them to wear a mask. You can even make your mask as we showed you in this article, so you can wear something you made yourself, something dependable.
All the protection measures you adopted when the pandemic was in full effect should be maintained if you feel the need to do so. However, even if you are vaccinated, you should understand there is no 100% guaranteed protection against the virus. If you catch it, you may not develop a severe illness, but there’s still a chance to spread the virus to the more vulnerable people around you. For example, this month, it seems that people ages 65 and older are the age group with the highest hospitalization rate.
I used hand sanitizer long before the pandemic started, and I always have some with me wherever I go. If you make a habit of using it, I guarantee that you will get peace of mind regardless if you fear the Covid infection or any other viral infection. In addition, using it is a good practice for your hygiene.
Don’t become part of the problem
People love to feed on conflict, and the media thrives on it since it’s something “out of the ordinary” that lures people to it. You’ve seen online or TV news how people are rising against the system and fighting the imposed rules meant to prevent the spread of the pandemic. However, ask yourself this, is it worth making a scandal for something temporary?
If you need to board a plane, why refuse to wear a mask until you reach your destination?
Is it worth risking to be banned by the airline to prove your point?
You may get some satisfaction if you refuse to comply and perhaps, some internet fame, but you have to calculate the risks and weigh the gains. The pandemic will end at some point, and you will still be banned from flying with a particular airline company. Try to calm down and look at the end goal, reaching your destination. Do not provide the media with more material to sell their programs.
The same goes for those shoppers who refuse to wear a mask when entering a specific location. Why fight with the employees (which are probably not paid enough to deal with such issues) or make a scandal because you don’t like the store’s policy? Why risk getting arrested and getting a record? Take your business elsewhere, and don’t complicate things more than they already are.
Stop spreading false information
Some folks unwillingly (or freely) spread misinformation they found on social media because it serves their agenda or just because they believe they are doing the right thing, trying to help people.
Before you spread any information you find online, it’s better to verify its sources and make sure what you read is true. If you click and share without researching the topic, you risk doing more harm than good. And this may not seem like much to you until it hits close to home. Protests and social upheaval have started after the spread of misinformation. In one way or another, those who helped spread the fabricated information eventually affected those events.
Remember that the media profits once the masses consume their products, and they do not care if the information they provide is accurate. Instead, they pass the responsibility and blame to the reader and only care about generating revenue. And since the outrageous, uncommon, and conflicting content is the most profitable, you can see how you can quickly become a pawn in their game.
Always research what you read, and don’t blindly trust anyone.
The pandemic is far from over, and the main reason for this remains human nature. We may have the means to bring it to an end, but the lack of trust in government agencies and institutions sometimes prevents us from making the right call. Also, the spread of misinformation and conspiracy theories with the sole purpose of generating revenue has dramatically slowed the immunization process in our country.
The recent increase in infections and hospitalization is a clear sign that there’s still a long way to go until we return to our usual way of living, and we should all be responsible when it comes to our safety and the wellbeing of our peers.