It’s a personal decision really, but one that could affect many others.
I had a telephone conversation the other night with someone I know quite well, and for whom I have the utmost respect. Our conversation turned - and inevitably most do - to the pandemic.
“Don’t you think that this whole thing is kinda being blown out of proportion?” he asked.
I replied that I didn’t think so, noting that every week or so, it seems a new symptom or area of attack is discovered regarding the virus.
“Digestive systems, cardiac systems, lungs, heart and the list goes on,” I said. “I believe that until we have complete testing for everyone and/or a vaccine that can be shown to treat or stop the infection, that we’re not going to be out of the woods.”
“Really?” he said. “So if they were lining people up for a vaccine would you go get it?”
“If it was shown to work, I would,” I said.
“Hmmm. I gotta say that I feel that things are being twisted around,” he said, obviously portraying that, at least at this time, he wouldn’t be joining me in that line.
That conversation played on my mind the next few days.
It is certain that there are disparate opinions on the pandemic, just as there are widely different opinions on just about everything these days and tempers flare quickly - like no other time in my life.
What concerns me about the COVID-19 virus are the sheer enormity of things that are still unknown.
It’s a virus, so it mutates; it changes. It attacks different people in different ways.
There is a Broadway actor, Nick Cordero, who was stricken very early with the virus. He emerged recently from coma brought about by the virus. This is after weeks in intensive care and the amputation of his leg. Doctors are fighting to keep his body from completely shutting down.
Stories regarding people who presented with a wide array of different symptoms have emerged.
Scarier still is the fact that many people who are infected don’t know it and show no symptoms at all. Frankly, it is probable that there are people who have been infected, but whose immunity system fought it off.
How do you know?
The recent surge in positive numbers in Beadle County is troublesome. Are the increased numbers all connected, as were many of the first positive cases?
I admit that it would be wonderful if there was a way to be able to trace whether someone traveled outside and brought the virus back or if someone ventured here and left it.
We will likely never “know.”
But not doing something that will place others in harm’s way should be common courtesy.
I am fortunate that with the exception of needing to create one fewer paper a week for the time being, my life and that of my wife have been very lightly affected. We are situated at work so that ‘social distancing’ is achieved by the simple arrangement of our news room.
I drive to work, do my job, and drive home. My wife was able to do her job, at least on a limited basis, from home on alternating weeks.
We don’t venture unless there is a specific reason.
The world will continue to lessen the restrictions, and people will undoubtedly begin to congregate.
But I will continue to err on the side of caution. We’ll still enjoy a meal “out on the town” on a take-out basis. And at some point, hopefully soon, we’ll be able to be in the same place as our kids, their spouses and our grandkids.
Being cautious or opting to get a vaccination is not about my well being.
It is about there being the most infinitesimal possibility that I have the virus, don’t know it, and pass it on to my kids, granddaughter or grandson.
It’s about living with the knowledge that, if someone you love gets sick, it may be because you weren’t careful or cautious enough.
That would be a sickening feeling, one that I really don’t want a part of, thanks.
Positive cases will continue to climb, due at least in part to more tests being done.
In the meantime, simply because you are ‘allowed’ to go and do some things again, that doesn’t mean we have to act irresponsibly.