Following the somewhat steady distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, the United States recorded its 500,00th Covid-19 related death on Feb. 22. The death toll of 500,000 is almost equivalent to the combined US losses in two world wars.
Unlike the former President, President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, along with Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, marked the 500,000th American death from this treacherous virus with a candle lighting ceremony at the White House last Monday.
Preceding the candle lighting ceremony, Dr. Anthony Fauci pleaded for extended vigilance from people and also warned Americans last Sunday that they could be wearing masks into 2022.
The national division between fear and hope in the United States was also exemplified by an announcement that more vaccines than ever are being sent to states and that there is a fast ebbing of new cases of the novel coronavirus making its way across most of the county.
Looking back, American lives have changed drastically in the last year. Not only has the economic impact on businesses been punishing, but the mental health of Americans has suffered since the start of the pandemic as well.
As the worst public health calamity in 100 years, the coronavirus has taken away so much. Not only are children missing out on vital milestones, whether it be in education or in life, but people have also lost their sons, daughters, grandparents, parents, siblings and friends to the world’s worst pandemic.
In the days where you could pack NFL football stadiums and sit carefree in the crowd, the current death toll of 500,000 represents more than six average NFL football stadiums worth of victims.
Now more than ever, it is important to get the coronavirus vaccine when available to you. While many believe that they alone cannot aid in stopping this pandemic, the vaccines have been proven to work time and time again.
It is no secret that many fear being vaccinated. However, all COVID-19 vaccines are carefully evaluated in clinical trials with routine processes and procedures in place to ensure the safety of the vaccine.
Although the vaccines are not 100% effective, experts believe that getting a Covid-19 vaccine may also help you from getting seriously ill even if you do get Covid-19. Ultimately, the vaccine is a safer way to build protection and is being used as an important tool to help stop the pandemic.
Social distancing and mask-wearing can help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus and aid in stopping the spread to others, but vaccines will work with your immune system so it is ready to fight the virus if exposed.
So many lives and livelihoods have been taken away in the last year. Now more than ever, it is important that we take time to reflect on how much our lives have changed. In addition, we as Americans need to step up and aid in stopping what is being called the world’s worst pandemic through mask-wearing, social distancing and getting the vaccine once available to you.