Take precautions, and don’t panic over COVID

Weyburn Review Editorial

If one watches the national media very much these days, the world is once again on fire and we are on the verge of a major disaster.

Clearly what is needed is for people to take a moment to breathe deeply, in and out, and settle themselves down from the panic that must be rising on a national scale.

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Yes, the numbers for COVID-19 are rising and are a great concern — but can we please not be so fearful about this?

One fact that is never, ever mentioned but is a reality that we need to face up to is that the COVID-19 coronavirus is not going to go away. To listen to the fears being expressed in the media, somehow the goal is that we are going to eradicate the virus.

That’s not going to happen anytime soon, and the best thing we can hope for is for an effective vaccine to be developed and widely available.

At last report, there are two companies reporting excellent results from their vaccines, the latest one with around a 95 per cent effectiveness against the virus.

A realistic goal to shoot for is to have a vaccine that will be available just like the annual influenza vaccine is. The fact is this coronavirus is not that much different from the flu, which can also hospitalize and kill people, particularly those who are vulnerable.

The difference is, we’ve learned to live with the flu, and to take precautions like getting the flu vaccine each year if we are prone to catching colds or the flu. And like COVID, if we get sick we need to self-isolate at home and let the virus work itself out.

Another big difference from influenza is we aren’t closing businesses when there is a flu outbreak, nor are we causing people to lose their jobs or causing severe mental health issues in people to the point that suicide rates are on the increase, and deaths from opioid abuse are also on the rise.

The draconian reaction to COVID-19 is having a widespread negative impact on society, on children, on the economy and on the very livelihoods of people.

We have to find a way to live with it, because it is not going to go anywhere. This virus is in every corner of every part of the world, and there is no cure, just as there is no cure for the common cold.

People are still reeling from the impact of the lockdowns of the spring, and some have never recovered, such as instances where people have lost their jobs or their business. We cannot survive another lockdown, and the price is too high to pay. How far do we have to go before we decide we’ve gone too far, and caused too much damage to people’s lives? We should do what we can to keep each other safe from infection, and we need to be patient and kind with each other we get through this.