I think this little honeymoon phase with Covid is about to be over. I’ve felt relatively safe since being fully vaccinated, but now as restrictions are lifted, I find myself increasingly nervous that I’m around others who aren’t honest about their vaccination status. Who thought the honor system would work, anyway?
My hospital system stayed pretty quiet for several weeks with regard to Covid cases, but we are now seeing a handful of hospitalizations again. I suspect those numbers will likely increase as the Delta variant spreads. Delta accounts for 83% of new cases in the US now. It’s more virulent than previous variants. This website with graphics shows where the virus is now most active, and how sharply cases are increasing across the country.
Numbers in Virginia today: 721 new cases reported July 20th. To give you some perspective, July 15th saw 440 new cases. Only 53% of our population is fully vaccinated. We have only the honor system for masking to protect us.
I wear a mask all day at work. At least a level 1: a basic surgical mask. For certain tasks, like going into a patient’s room within a certain time frame of a nebulizer treatment or for showering, I must wear an N-95. So when I go out, it’s really not a big deal to wear a mask.
I’ve talked about how hard it is to wear an N-95 all day. I don’t want to go back to those days. They were miserable.
I’ve told you how I feel about mask mandates being lifted. And I still feel the same way. I’m still worried that a booster will be required at some point, as most healthcare providers are past the 6 month mark of being fully immunized.
The honeymoon is about to end, folks. We are about a month behind Great Britain. The President of France has lots to say about his citizens who refuse vaccinations. Areas of America that have low vaccination rates are starting to see surges in cases.
Excuses for not getting vaccinated that include conspiracy theories are worthless. (I do realize that some folks are highly allergic to many things, and are choosing to avoid vaccinations. This plea is not for them.) It’s also not true that healthy people can’t die from this virus. Please, for the love of humanity, get vaccinated! These folks who watch Fox “news” and listen to the lies spewed are so under a spell. Funny thing is, I’ll bet all the “news anchors” have been vaccinated already. I’m lost as to why they would want all of their viewers to be so vulnerable to this virus. Do they really want to lose their audience to Covid? Sigh. Even our former president got vaccinated. The more people get vaccinated, the less likely it is for variants to form.
If you still have doubts about whether or not you should get vaccinated, talk to your primary care doctor. They know you best medically, and can make recommendations based on your individual needs and concerns.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: just like there are no atheists in a foxhole, there are no science deniers in a Covid unit. I wish everyone could see what healthcare providers experience with regard to this virus. I wish they could watch someone with a relatively mild case in the hospital try to walk across the room, gasping for air, with their oxygen levels dipping into the 70’s on supplemental oxygen. I wish they could watch the heart rate of these patients skyrocket with just the minimal activity. I wish they could feel our heartache for our beloved patients who died before vaccinations were available to the general population. I wish you could see how difficult it is to recover from the virus when you have been intubated for weeks with resulting ICU myopathy. It’s absolutely terrible. My fear is that we are about to go through these immensely challenging days all over again, simply because people won’t trust real science.
Regret is powerful. But regret does not cure Covid. Healthcare providers are tired. It’s been a rough year and a half. Do us a favor, and get the vaccine. We don’t want to see more death, and we’re tired of wearing N-95’s. We simply want the best science has to offer to our patients and the general public, and right now, that’s prevention through vaccination. We are one of the luckiest nations in the world to have access to three very effective vaccines. If you aren’t willing to get vaccinated, at least wear a mask indoors when out in public.
Now as the Olympics begin, we are already hearing of athletes testing positive for the virus, including an alternate to the US women’s gymnastics team. For anyone worried about Simone Biles, she did reveal on social media that she is fully vaccinated! Let’s hope the virus can remain contained for the games.
Stay safe everyone. Keep masking in indoor, public spaces. Get vaccinated if you can. As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.