At this point, we’ve all heard the phrase, but is it really accurate to call COVID-19 a “pandemic of the unvaccinated?”
A recent article written by the Executive Director of National Nurses United, Bonnie Castillo, in USA Today, says, “No.”
“The science of epidemiology tells us there is just one deadly, global pandemic that has not yet ended,” Castillo writes, “and we are all in it together. To get out of it, we must act together. All of us.”
Her point is that vaccines, while key to reaching a speedy herd immunity and ending the virus quickly, are not the only answer. We’ve had a toolbox stacked with options for well over a year now that will be most effective at ending the pandemic when used together and in full force.
Castillo is quick to add in the article that nurses in her organization who experience COVID firsthand every single day throughout the country, strongly believe in the effectiveness of vaccines and encourage them wholeheartedly.
But with the surge of the highly contagious Delta variant, and more variants arriving every week, we need to start utilizing every tool at our disposal. This includes universal masking, which has become needlessly controversial.
In fact, face masks work and are highly recommended by the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic as part of routine prevention measures, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Of course, wearing the mask correctly is key. Masks alone are not 100% effective and it’s key to note, they are most effective when combined with other measures including frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, social distancing, screening, testing and contact tracing if you’ve been exposed. But the reality is, they are worth the effort. Like seatbelts, they reduce the risk and improve your odds – but unlike seatbelts, they don’t only help you, they help everyone around you.
COVID isn’t going away anytime soon, but how quickly we rid ourselves of this devastating virus, depends largely on our own behavior.
NAHA Health recognizes and respects everyone’s right to make their own decisions and as always, we encourage you to educate yourselves further regarding your options for keeping yourself, your family, friends, neighbors and even strangers you meet in the grocery store, safe during the pandemic. Taking a few simple steps for the good of us all can mean a quicker end to an already extended and exhausting experience.
To quote a favorite movie classic:
You’ve Always Had the Power to End the Pandemic … You Just Had to Learn it for Yourself.