As COVID cases increase, so too must the public’s tolerance for them

COVID cases increaseRemember back in March and April when the fear of COVID shut down everything, including elective medical care, gyms and large gatherings? The hope was that we could quickly and “easily” stop COVID in its tracks. But as COVID cases increase and the pandemic drags on, it’s clear this won’t have a quick resolution. Citizens will and are demanding the economy, and even sports, reopen. But with reopening, there’s an inevitable increase in cases, aka surges. With each surge, the media highlights the situation, pushing public opinion to demand the stoppage or reversal of reopening plans.


COVID cases increase

But telling schools, sports (without spectators), salons and other indoor businesses to remain suspended isn’t a long term plan. Sure you can attempt to mitigate the spread by not participating in large crowds like protests, enclosed bars and restaurants. You can wear a mask around others, social distance and wash your hands. But despite these measures, the rate of infections will continue to ebb and flow.


What we have to understand is this is a pandemic that is here to stay. Everyone is quick to mention the end of the pandemic will arrive when a vaccine is available. But even if a vaccine is approved, we have to hope it’s effective against all strains of this novel coronavirus.


There’s also the issue of distributing the vaccine. What makes you think you’ll be the first to get it? It’s almost certainly going to the elderly and institutionalized first. Your cohort, whomever you may be, is probably third or fourth in line!


So we need to prepare for the long haul here. We will continue to see surges come and go across the country and around the globe. Often revisiting locales that already experienced surges before. And that means the public has to avoid the temptation of demanding that everything, including schools or sports, shut down the moment one person, or three, get infected. This situation demands tolerance when members of our community test positive, because that is an inevitability. Remember, the realistic goal we set for ourselves from the outset was to flatten the curve, not eliminate it.



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