Spring is approaching and the desire to rid our communities of this viral scourge is strong. We long to “return to normal” but our country is still riddled with COVID, which is learning how to adapt faster than we are willing to face reality.
We are the virus’s best friend. SARS- 2 is dependent on human-to-human transmission. Without our willingness to share it by talking, breathing, and coughing on one another the virus cannot spread.
The virus needs to invade our lungs, plunge its spike into the delicate tissue where our bodies exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen and then seize control of the cell. Here it will reproduce within our lungs before moving on to the next person, carried on our breath. Each body it infects confronts a range of reactions from mild (which may or may not provide the body with protective immunity) to more moderate, where the lingering effects may be long term, to the most serious often leading to death.
Viral spread is caused by us. It is human behavior that allows the virus to live and to mutate. Some of the new mutations are raising concern within the clinical and scientific community because they seem to spread more readily and there are early indicators they may lead to more serious disease. Vaccines will help, but not stop this virus quickly or easily.
Stopping the spread is up to each one of us. The viral scourge will continue as long as people choose to ignore the three basics health measures to stop spread; #masks #social distance #hand hygiene. Yes, we are tired of the pandemic, but ignoring the reality our personal role in supporting its ability to spread is simply denial of reality.
How can we understand the impact that one person can have on the fight against COVID? We can learn a lot by the powerful testimonies given in the film, Death Through Nurses’ Eyes. Watch it. Share it. Talk about it. The nurses in this film have learned to live with reality. It is a stark and painful reality for them and for the more than 500,000 Americans who have already died. Their families and friends will live with the memory they were never able to hold their hand as their loved ones lay dying.
Please wear a mask and social distance. It is up to you. Recovery from the pandemic depends on learning to live with the reality of our own role in viral spread.