COVID Will Always Be With Us

(Photo credit: Fusion Medical Automation/Unsplash)

This is my opinion, but Covid isn’t going anywhere. In fact, cases of the virus are once again on the rise, with over 99% of deaths occurring in people who are not vaccinated. People who have been vaccinated have also caught the new Delta variant of the virus. As much as I’d like for COVID to eventually fade away like the flu, I now believe it’s always going to be around, going forward in one variant or another, and killing people as it moves around. Vaccinations, if people get them, will help keep it in check, but that will always depend on the willingness of others to be vaccinated. Realistically, there are always going to be those who will not get vaccinated for a variety of reasons, from a lack of health care options to their personal politics. However, the more people who don’t get vaccinated, the bigger the chance for newer and more deadly variants to arise.

(Photo credit: Adam Niescioruk/Unsplash)

Are we always going to have to wear a mask? For now I think yes, at least in certain situations. I will always wear a mask if I’m going to enter an area where the possibility of unvaccinated people will exist, places like Costco, supermarkets, farmers’ markets and so forth. With the return of tourists and flights going back and forth to the mainland and other islands, our little island has been averaging six to seven active cases diagnosed per day for the last week or so. I’m sure other situations are going to arise where masks will either be required or recommended, and because of our ages Brett and I will always follow those rules, regulations, and suggestions.

Will we stay socially isolated? Again, for the most part I think yes. The two of us have grown comfortable being together so much, and have no problems going forward this way. We will have occasional social outings, getting together with family and friends, whenever possible, but for the most part we are fine with our own company these days.

(Photo credit: Nick Fewings/Unsplash)

Will we continue to stay vaccinated? Absolutely. As new variants arrive and new vaccines or boosters become available we will make every effort to take advantage of them.

Did we (the U.S.) learn anything last year? Some did but others did not, sadly. Every time I see a large gathering of people, especially if they’re not wearing masks, I see a certain percentage passing along COVID and another percentage catching it, vaccinated or not. Just like the flu, in all it’s many permutations, has been around for a long time, the new reality sadly looks like COVID is going to be with us as well for a long, long time as well, and failure to adjust to the new reality will be at our own peril.

18 thoughts on “COVID Will Always Be With Us

  1. As much as I hate to say it, I agree with every word you have written. The surge in the UK is really concerning, as well as so many spots here in the US. I’m discouraged by how many people are cavalier and cocky about it. Clearly it’s going to take a lot more death to get some people to listen, and some never will. For now, all we can do is our best to stay safe and keep up with the science.

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    1. I have been shocked for a long time about the cavalier attitudes of so many about this virus. I agree that sadly, a lot more people are going to have to die from it before some people will wake up. As with many things, until it affects them directly, some people will never figure it out.

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  2. I wish everyone could take it more seriously. When we opened up here last month, people made comments about “burning their masks”. All you have to do is look to Asia where masks are a given, and you use them to keep yourself and those around you safe. I don’t think it’s a hard ask, but you and I both know how a lot of people feel. As much as I hate the term “the new normal”, that’s exactly where we are at.

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    1. This virus has really exposed a whole lot about our society that many of us imagined before but now see is actually worse than imagined. This is the new normal, and it’s frankly discouraging now many people have no intention of adapting.

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  3. I agree totally. I have gathered a small collection of cloth masks, in addition to a supply of medical masks, and I fully intend that they will be part of my life forever. A few years ago my whole travel group was laid up with some kind of nasty virus that we think may have been connected with some flights we took, and since COVID masks have been a thing we wish we had thought of protecting ourselves back then on flights. Will do going forward. Cases where I live are low, and health dept believes we have only a very small number of Delta variant, so I’ve been kind of enjoying a mask free life wherever it seems safe to do so. I always have a mask in my pocket, though, at the ready if needed.

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    1. I think the masks are going to be part of our lives going forward as well. We have medical masks for traveling, but cloth masks to wear locally (although I need to replace some of mine as the elastic is wearing out).

      We don’t wear a mask when we walk at the park, or when we go to the beach, but otherwise we keep them handy. The sun is hot enough here (well, if it’s sunny) that leaving them in the car will sterilize them, so we always keep a couple hanging in the car to grab when we go out.

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  4. Another one who agrees. We have a long hauler in our family who will never work or drive again and who is still undergoing physical therapy after a year. I look at her and know that I want to do everything possible to avoiding getting the virus and passing it on.

    On another note, just finished watching season 4 of Unforgotten. Wish it wasn’t the last season–such a good show.

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    1. That is very sad about your family member. So many don’t realize it’s not just about having the virus but that it has the potential to bring long term debilitating effects along with it. I have heard the phrase “I refuse to live in fear!” from some anti-vaxxers or anti-maskers, with no thought to the fact that they could be spreading the virus to someone else. It’s all about them.

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  5. Colleen, that is so sad. And that’s a very scary part of this.
    Numbers are soaring in Alaska, where vaccination rates are low and we have droves of tourists. Our staff has gone back to wearing masks at work as we no longer feel safe without them. I still have not gone to the grocery without one. I am gathering a bit more with vaccinated friends and we have resumed marimba band practice. But I am not eating in restaurants, going to crowded events, or spending any more time in public than necessary. Wondering what is going to happen in the schools this fall-the kids are my biggest worry. The adults who choose not to vaccinate (except for those with health conditions who cannot) are not getting much sympathy from me if they get sick. This should never have been a political crisis, it should have been a. Public health crisis.

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    1. Numbers are soaring here in Hawaii as well – there were three COVID deaths this week, and the hospitals are full (I’ve come to think the reason I wasn’t seen at the ER week before last was because all the rooms were filled with COVID patients who had come in).

      We have only been to or will go to restaurants where we can eat outside, and not jammed up close to others. We want to go back to the farmers’ market, but do not want to be around so many tourists – we know a certain amount are unvaccinated.

      I agree this should have always been handled as a public health crisis, and not a political crisis. Far, far too many have made it political though. I’m glad to see that some political leaders have been changing their tune lately. Hopefully it will make a difference, but it may be too late.

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  6. I agree with every word you said except for one thing–flu is not gone. I think something like 20,000 people die from flu each year. I could be wrong about that number. I am content to wear a mask forever. And, at 75 that won’t be far away for me.

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    1. The flu is definitely not gone; it mutates every year into a new, and sometimes deadly variation, it seems. But last season, when everyone was masked, I think I read there were less than 20,000 total cases of the flu, and very few deaths. The masks and distancing made a HUGE difference.

      We are content to wear a mask forever as well, vaccinated or not.

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  7. Yea, agree. I’m not so worried about mask wearing. You get used to them but they do make a teacher’s job difficult. The upside here in Sydney is most people respecting physical distance, even when we’re not in midst of a case outbreak.

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    1. I have no trouble imagining how difficult it would be to teach wearing a mask. It’s very uncomfortable here, with the heat and humidity, even for a short time.

      Americans seem to have no qualms about crowding together, even with a deadly virus raging.

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  8. With the number of infected people, there are going to be more variants. Some of them will be weaker and some will be stronger. Vaccination drives were quite strong in Canada, but are tailing off a little. Hopefully some of the depressing news we are getting will spur some of those remaining to get vaccinated.

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    1. Just like the flu, the virus is going to keep changing, especially because there are unvaccinated. For some, it’s not their fault (because the vaccine isn’t available, as in third-world countries) but for others it’s merely a matter of privilege, to be able to say “I don’t want to get vaccinated” while others beg for it. I hope the current outbreak will get others to finally get vaccinated.

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  9. Not sure how much “exotic” travel we will do in the next few years. I may be vaccinated but many 3rd and 4th world countries are not. The ultimate privilege “ I got a shot so I can travel- you can’t get one….” My friends in certain areas are already sad to see the privileged return.
    The EU has a good healthcare system, but they cannot get any more of a handle on it then we can.
    I probably will do very little big city things. The “vaccine is evil” was strong before the elections and I know vaccination rate is very low in “the poor” parts. Glad that they are vaccinating those coming over the border and the vaccines are slowly working out into rural areas. Slow and steady. The only people I know not vaccinated had COVID and still had antibodies (my immediate family got shots anyway)

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    1. One of the reasons we postponed traveling until 2023 is because we felt that MIGHT allow for there to be a better handle on the spread of the virus. But who knows? We are beginning to feel nervous about getting to go to Japan next year. We hope we can go but are beginning to accept that it might not happen, although vaccinations are going on there now.

      I still know people who refuse to be vaccinated for purely political reasons, and one still believes the virus is a hoax. It’s absolutely infuriating.

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