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Hartselle Enquirer

Virus won’t go away 

By Clif Knight 

As a senior citizen just beginning to enjoy a return to normalcy after struggling against the coronavirus for more than 18 months, I was knocked flat when a second variant of the original virus emerged last week in South Africa and subsequently was identified in the U.S.  

The new variant – Omicron – follows on the heels of the Delta, which continues to spread and reap havoc in several Midwestern and West Coast states.  

Although not as dangerous as the original strain of the coronavirus, the Delta variant has forced some hospitals, running short of beds, to put on hold non-essential and non-emergency procedures and call on National Guard units to relieve healthcare workers at facilities dealing with staffing issues and surging caseloads. 

Virus vaccinations don’t seem to always work as far as the variants are concerned. The extent of viral complications is less severe and short-lived.  

Public officials and healthcare workers continue to stress the importance of being vaccinated and getting the booster shot. 

In my mind, returning to normalcy means doing away with the requirement of wearing a mask or face covering, the practice of social distancing or voluntary confinement to the home for the elderly or individuals with chronic health issues. 

One thing we have learned from the lengthy coronavirus exposure is giving too much attention to details. For example, it was unnecessary to place restrictions on public access to retail stores and public buildings.  

Many fast food restaurants survived because they could serve food through drive-through windows; however, closing indoor dining space meant denying traveling customers the use of restrooms. 

The lockdown of public schools and the implementation of online classes left teachers, students and parents with the dilemma of how to make up for the lessons they missed while staying at home.  

How to deal with Delta, Omicron or any other variants that medical experts say likely will follow remains to be seen. Hopefully, any and all decisions will be backed with a bug dose of common sense. Shutdowns are a no-brainer.        

 

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