Are we near the end?
Herald Staff Writer
A joke crossed my Facebook newsfeed the other day.
“A pessimist sees a dark tunnel. An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel. A realist sees the oncoming train. The train driver sees three idiots standing on the track.”
I sincerely hope we’re not about to get run over by a train but there does appear to be some light, finally, in this long dark tunnel.
Every measurement in the coronavirus pandemic has been plummeting for the last several weeks, not just locally, or even statewide, but nationally. Experts attribute this to a convergence of several factors: Cold, nasty weather keeping people home; a majority of people finally taking the virus seriously and following prevention protocols; a vigorous, if imperfect, program to vaccinate the most vulnerable.
Feb. 20, Summit County reported fewer than 100 new cases of the disease. Hospitalizations, intensive care admissions and deaths are seeing comparable decreases.
Perhaps the most telling metric, my church was as packed Feb. 21 as socially distanced seating would permit as dozens who’ve worshipped remotely for the last year, having gotten their shots, returned. I haven’t checked but I suspect other area churches saw similar things.
The train in the tunnel that could run us over is obvious. As things continue to improve, there’s every possibility people will dash unmasked out of their doors like third-graders leaving school on the last day before summer vacation and prematurely resume their “normal” lives. I get it. I’m sick of the masks and there are quite a few things I want to get back to, too. But this would pretty much guarantee a spike and actually delay a return to normalcy. Let’s smile at the positive numbers and be patient. Let’s find the end of the tunnel at the proper pace.