Letter to the Editor: "Are we losing our grip on pandemic realities?"

    It is doubtful there is a single person in the world who is not weary of reading, viewing or hearing news about COVID-19 and the prescribed responses for dealing with its spread! 
   Sadly, the longer the pandemic lingers, the more numb we become to the reported rates of infection, hospitalization and death. 
   Admittedly, these statistics are so staggering they stretch the imagination to its breaking point.
   A small glimmer of sunlight, peeping through the dark clouds, is that for every 100 people who contract this disease…98 will recover. 
   But this does not lessen the misery suffered by the 10 to12 of every 100 cases that demand closely-supervised medical care…or the tens of millions of bereaved Americans mourning the loss of the two out of the 10 or 12 of every 100 of these ‘very serious’ cases who died (now adding up to 450,000-plus U.S. dead).
   Oh, and have you heard that many in the ‘recovered’ population suffer from residual problems, including unshakable tiredness; shortness of breath; heart ailments; loss of taste, smell or memory. 
   Now there are multiple mutations to face. (i.e., variants), with unknown perils surrounding them.
   Yet, after over a year of enduring this public health crisis, we still see those among us who take this illness lightly or steadfastly refuse to believe it exists at all. 
   They are easy to spot. 
   They don’t wear a mask, social distance or avoid attending group gatherings. 
   A few are even known to have had COVID-19, but did not quarantine themselves? 
   And, as COVID-19 fatigue begins to sweep across the globe, more folks exhibit such careless, behavior and, thereby, recklessly put both themselves and others at risk. 
   Thus, the woes (i.e., health wise, social, financial, education, etc.) brought on by this viral enemy continue to surge.
   From where I sit, I anticipate that all 330 million U.S. residents pray hard the publicly visible, sometimes loudly vocal, 
   COVID-19 scoffers are 110% right in their assumptions. 
   Who, in their right mind, would not want to wake up and find that this has all been just a terrifying bad dream!
   But what if these stubbornly entrenched “optimists” are wrong? 
   In reality, they could be “dead” wrong and following their lead could be devastating for you and anyone with whom you have close contact (e.g., family, friends, co-workers, church members).
   So, if for no other reason than deep, abiding respect (i.e., neighborly love) for others in our community, everyone with whom we share this planet, you are urged to be zealously cautious and get vaccinated as soon as possible. 
   We haven’t eradicated this ‘global’ plague just yet!
   W.R. ‘Willie’ Younger
   Bay City 

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