• 72°

OUR VIEW: Something we can all agree on during the pandemic: We wish it was over

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached a stage where it’s nearly at the peak point it was at in January, when there were thousands of deaths per day in the United States and a quarter of a million new cases a day.

We’re not quite there at this moment, but it feels like we’ve reached at an important portion of this battle. Cases are mostly still rising, especially across the South (Chambers County might finally have hit another peak), and many people in our community are getting pretty sick. The Delta variant is very serious.

Unfortunately, if you went outside and randomly polled 100 strangers about COVID-19, you might 100 different responses. Some might point to the “low” fatality rate associated with the disease (the counterargument would be asking when a death toll becomes “high.”) Others might guide you toward the vaccine. Some might have an opinion on why you shouldn’t take the vaccine.

Opinions — as Americans, we sure have a lot of them.

But there’s one opinion that we think everyone can actually agree on in regard to the pandemic. Seriously. There is one.

What’s that opinion you ask? Simple. We all wish this pandemic was over.

One way or another — vaccine or no vaccine — we all wish COVID-19 was a thing of the past. We wish our friends, neighbors and family members would stop getting sick, and that we could throw our masks away and live our lives as if this terrible disease never existed.

The hard part is getting there, and it’s that portion that many people seem to disagree on.

Some people are just living their lives as if there is no pandemic. No mask. No shot. No precautions. We don’t recommend that.

There are undoubtedly people on the other end of that spectrum too — afraid to leave the house very much, avoiding crowds, etc. We’re not sure that’s the way to go either.

The truth is that most people have sort of moved into the next phase of this worldwide pandemic, for better or worse. If you’ve gotten vaccinated, you’ve already taken a step toward ending this thing, even though it might go on for much, much longer. Booster shots even may be required (that is still being researched.) Kids under 12 might soon be eligible for a vaccine (though that is also still being researched.) If you’re unvaccinated, and you are out living life taking zero precautions, then experts say you are probably opening yourself up to a potential infection.

People of all ages are getting sick, especially the unvaccinated. People of all ages are dying.

At this point, all of the world’s top scientists and researchers have done a lot of work in trying to end this pandemic. There’s information everywhere from reputable sources about ways to avoid infection to stop spread in our community.

And yet, here we are, trying to stop spread in our community. At some point, this truly becomes less about the president (and we’ve had two different this pandemic, so regardless of party, pick the one you want), our country’s leaders, our community leaders, our medical experts and anyone else you want to blame. It eventually comes down to us.

Are we going to wear a mask at the grocery store? Are we going to monitor ourselves for symptoms? Are we going to get vaccinated?

It’s truly up to us as Americans to decide how much longer this virus is going to continue ravaging our country and our community.

Our actions, and how serious we take it, will probably end up deciding how long this continues.

Take all the precautions, wear a mask, and get vaccinated? COVID would probably dry up pretty quickly.

But if we do nothing, we’re likely looking at dealing with this for months, if not years, to come.