After enduring what seemed like the longest and most brutal winter season, we are now finally witnessing the birth of spring. With the budding trees and temperatures reaching a comfortable state where a jacket is optional, it feels as though the public has taken a collective sigh of relief.
We made it! Vaccines are being distributed! Families are reuniting! Life is returning to a sense of normalcy!
Right? Haven’t we reached the “post-pandemic” point of this worldwide catastrophe? Can’t it be implied since restrictions are vanishing and all my friends are receiving the vaccine?
The reality of a “post-pandemic” is both a valid and reasonable beacon of hope for the world. There is an innate desire to move forward and leave the struggles of the past year behind as it has left a lasting impact on all of our lives. But believing that we have now entered this “post-pandemic” life is dangerous.
According to CNN, India reported 349,691 new cases of COVID-19 on April 24 alone, a new record after reaching record-breaking numbers of cases for three consecutive days. With the dramatic increase of infections and deaths from the virus, attention has been turned to the rate of vaccinations within India and the lack of resources for vaccines. Compared to the 226 million administered vaccines in the United States, less than 2% of India’s entire population has been fully vaccinated.
Although Americans 16 years of age or older are eligible to receive the vaccine, other countries around the world are still struggling to combat the spread of the virus. Variants and mutations of the virus have been reported, human error has resulted in the waste of effective vaccines, and some individuals refused to be vaccinated.
It is important to understand that despite the progress we are seeing in our own cities and states, we do not live in a bubble. The pandemic continues to be a nightmarish reality that is still taking the lives of our loved ones, forcing local businesses to close their doors for good, and is depleting medical resources and hospital space. We cannot let ourselves dismiss the rampage of COVID-19 across the globe.
Similar to how dangerous COVID-19 has proven to be, our outlook on the pandemic can be dangerous too. You can still be an optimist and celebrate your friends and family members getting vaccinated while acknowledging that we still have responsibilities to uphold.
Continue to wear a mask in public, even if you are with friends. If you have not been vaccinated, actively seek opportunities in your surrounding area. Be aware of restrictions, and don’t let your guard down if restrictions go away.
And most of all, be grateful you are alive. Be grateful that you have the privilege to get vaccinated.
Populations around the world unfortunately cannot say the same.