It's been a long time since I've done a COVID-19 rant, but yesterday I got my first shot (Moderna) and today Andrew got his second shot (also Moderna), and I'm feeling a little like we could all use a good, solid reminder that: we're still (yes, still) in the middle of a global pandemic.
I looked up the flu statistics for this past flu season. Guess how many deaths there were in Georgia. Go on...
Two deaths due to influenza.
Now guess how many COVID deaths there were—in Georgia—in the same time period (September 27 to April 10)...
Honestly, I don't even want to tally them up, but I will to prove a point (the point being that the coronavirus is a little different from influenza). Are you ready?
Eight-thousand eighty-nine deaths due to COVID-19.
Those numbers are just a teensy bit different. And the truly wild thing is that I feel like a lot of people worked hard to keep this disease contained (no thanks to those who didn't).
Thankfully, our numbers are getting better. Our cases are going down while the number of vaccinated adults is rising. These are both good things, though I do wish we would do a little better at sharing our vaccination "formula" with the world (after all, it's a global pandemic). And I wish people would still exercise caution.
Our ward has been floating the idea of adding in a second hour and they really want to get back to in-person activities. But I'm just having a really hard time with that for...a few reasons...not the least is this:
I was on a Facebook group for primary activity leaders, where we share ideas and lend support (it's really great, overall), and this one lady listed out the schedule she made up for the next several weeks. To ring in the summer, she revealed that the kids would be making PVC marshmallow shooters and then playing with them. Outside, socially-distanced, of course. What could go wrong?
My eyes were just about popping out of my head.
First of all, this sounds like a super fun thing to do. Second of all, it also sounds like something I probably wouldn't ever attempt to do with a group of kids all on my own, so kudos to this lady. But third of all...we're in the middle of a global pandemic...and you want to have the children stuff mini marshmallows into a tube and then blow them at each other?!
I mean, sure. Fine. They're running around, screaming and yelling, and having a blast. They probably all have terrible aim and rarely hit each other. But you do realize that when they do, those sweet little marshmallows have been heavily breathed on...right?!
And...newsflash...kids are disgusting. I'm envisioning some still-seven-year-old kid picking up a marshmallow that's been blasted out the end of who even knows how many other children's tubes and...eating it. Waste not, want not, right?
(Or as we like to say at our house (to tease Andrew who once said this phrase incorrectly): Waste not, want want).
I just...have a few trust issues with society right now. That's all. I know some people are taking this thing seriously, but others aren't and...it kind of hurts my heart. As I told the primary president in an email today (asking if and when we'd consider joining in-person second hour): I've already spent weeks of my life at my child's hospital bedside watching them struggle to breathe. My preference is to...avoid ever having to do that. Like, lugging around an oxygen tank wasn't my very favourite thing to do (been there, done that)...so if no one in our family got permanent lung damage, that...would be ideal.
I realize a lot of people have gotten COVID and recovered "just fine."
But also a lot of people have gotten COVID and have...not...recovered just fine (or at all).
I have a friend in the ICU right now, diagnosed with ARDS due to COVID.
She's 36, mother of 5, full of passion for her life.
I...don't envy her. I'm so sad that she's suffering so badly. I'm so hopeful that she's able to battle this and return home to her children. But, honestly, it could go either way.
So I can't understand how so many people are acting like this is "over." It's not over. Cases are down from the winter, sure, but we're at, like, "bad summer" levels (which is to say: we're still not doing great) so I don't understand how we're being pressured so strongly to just "return" to "normal" life.
That's all. That's the rant.