The never ending year has finally come to pass, but the cause of our suffering remains.
When COVID-19 made its way to the United States in early 2020, the uncertainty surrounding the virus brought society and the American lifestyle to a sudden halt as businesses across the nation closed their doors and citizens locked themselves inside their own.
As we approach the anniversary of quarantine, cases continue to rise at an alarming rate and the end of the pandemic is nowhere in sight. A new year has begun, the period of denial has long since passed and the time has come to accept and adapt to the circumstances of the pandemic, if we as a society place any value in escaping them any time soon.
Consider this: cared for properly, the average flesh wound will heal in a matter of days. Left untreated, however, and exposed to harmful contaminants, the same wound can become infected, spread to a larger area and in extreme cases lead to the death of the damaged limb or even the host. To neglect taking the proper measures to heal the wound would be an irresponsible act that would present unnecessary risks. To intentionally expose the wound to harmful contaminants would be an unthinkably reckless act that would surely cause further harm. Now, think of it like this: COVID-19 is essentially a series of massive, infected flesh wounds we’ve allowed to spread across the body of the human race for nearly a year now.
While the majority of people have enough sense to wear a mask in public and stay home when they get sick, in this instance, the bad apples overwhelmingly spoil the bunch. With the extremely contagious nature of COVID-19, unnecessary gatherings – especially involving anti-mask COVID-deniers, who typically come in contact with a significantly increased number of people – pose a direct and immediate threat to the entire species, as proven by the massive spikes in cases and deaths surrounding each major holiday since the pandemic began.
The effectiveness of complete lockdowns and strict public health control measures in preventing the spread of COVID-19 have been proven time and again in Italy, the United Kingdom and especially New York, where devastating initial outbreaks were contained to manageable positions before the holiday season. The simple solution to escaping this nightmare has been clear since nearly the beginning, if only we would pay the virus the attention and respect it deserves: stay home and it will be over before we know it. Unfortunately, that’s proved to be easier said than done.
The bottom line is if you’re not willing to be a part of the solution, you’re actively contributing to the problem. By walking around in the world without taking the necessary measures to protect yourself from the virus, you put millions of other lives at risk, you invite the virus to extend its stay, and you spit in the face of all the people doing everything they can to avoid getting sick.
With daily cases still coming in near the peak, unless we collectively agree to adhere to the restrictions already proven to work, we can look forward to another year of ignoring the increasingly attention starved elephant in the room, while we wait for the vaccines to come to our rescue.