The COVID-19 pandemic has placed many of us in a number of tough spots. From furloughs and job losses to hospitalizations and lost loved ones, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone whose life hasn’t been impacted by the novel coronavirus. During times like these, it’s important that we take steps to increase public health and avoid making a bad situation even worse. Fortunately, doing your part throughout this pandemic is neither challenging nor cumbersome – nor should it prove to be a drain on your time or resources.
Get Your Vaccine
Unless a medical condition precludes you from vaccination, there’s no reason for you to avoid getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Regardless of how concerned you personally are about contracting the novel coronavirus, you have no right to place other people’s health at risk by refusing to get vaccinated. If you truly value public health and desire a genuine return to normalcy, get vaccinated as soon as you can.
When it comes to vaccine supplies, the U.S. is currently the envy of the planet. However, whereas other countries have ample demand but dwindling supplies, we have ample supplies and dwindling demand. Despite how easy vaccines are to come by in the United States, millions of Americans have decided that they know better than medical experts and have opted to avoid vaccination. In addition to being selfish and short-sighted, this behavior is downright dangerous and has directly contributed to the ballooning infection rates and fatality numbers. COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge and are administered at countless pharmacies, clinics and medical facilities. So, when it comes to doing one’s part, vaccination is the bare minimum that should be expected of any responsible citizen. You may also want to consider contributing to charitable causes, like taking the opportunity to give blood.
Push Back Against Misinformation
Weaponized misinformation is responsible for many Americans’ blasé attitude regarding the threat posed by COVID-19. From the very beginning, certain political figures and media outlets have characterized the novel coronavirus as a minor sickness and a manufactured crisis. Even as infection rates and fatalities skyrocketed, these people continued to shrug off both the virus and the vaccines at every turn. Unfortunately, millions of people have come to embrace these blatant falsehoods as truth and tailored their approach to the pandemic around the misinformation they consume.
In addition to not taking your cues from known disinformation sources, you should try appealing to friends, family members and other acquaintances who have readily bought into the aforementioned misinformation. There’s a chance that they’re too far gone to accept any information that runs counter to their previously held beliefs, but you’ll at least be able to say that you tried. At the end of the day, you have no control over their actions – you can only try to guide them in the right direction.
Keep on Masking
It’s become abundantly clear that relaxing masks mandates – and getting rid of them altogether – was a mistake. Instead of serving as an incentive for people to get vaccinated, placing the country on the honor system ensured that people who never took COVID-19 seriously would act in bad faith. Sure enough, unvaccinated individuals didn’t hesitate to stop wearing the masks that they never wanted to wear in the first place. This resulted in the emergence of deadly new COVID-19 variants and out-of-control infection rates, with states like Florida and Texas reporting the highest numbers they’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic.
So, regardless of whether your state, workplace or the businesses you frequent currently have mask rules in effect, you’d be wise to continue masking up and encouraging others to do the same. While the vaccines have done a fantastic job of preventing serious and fatal infections, they should not be regarded as an end-all miracle cure. Common sense precautions – like mask-wearing – are still necessary, especially with so many people walking around unvaccinated and so many COVID-19 variants popping up.
Few people on the planet have experienced a pandemic of this magnitude, and thanks to vaccine hesitancy and other selfish behavior, it doesn’t like COVID-19 will be coming to an end any time soon. Even though people are supposed to act responsibly and consider public health in times like these, the sheer ignorance and recklessness exhibited by a large chunk of society have made this situation worse at every turn. However, while you may be powerless to change certain people’s behavior, you are in full control of the way you respond to this crisis. As such, it behooves you – and every responsible, safety-conscious citizen – to work towards the betterment of public health.
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