Let’s stop equating the coronavirus with the flu, please. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the flu kills, on average, 36,000 people a year. Right now, not yet two years after Covid-19 swept across the planet, it is still killing more than a thousand people a day in the U.S.
From Nov. 7 to 13, an average of 1,128 people died in America per day. If the death toll were to continue at that rate, one year from now, another 412,000 people would have succumbed to this disease.
The virus has already killed 762,000 Americans.
We mustn’t forget these horrible and horrifying statistics. It seems of late that we have, however. We’re so eager to carry on with our normal lives that we forget this disease is still raging across this country, and around the world.
We’re now seeing Covid-19 cases rapidly tick up across Western Europe. A rising rate on the other side of the Atlantic has thus far been a precursor of things to come here in the U.S. This past week, we saw the infection rate rise across Long Island and New York state. As of press time, it stood at nearly 3 percent statewide. That’s lower than it was earlier in the fall, but still significantly higher than it was in June, when we saw a lull in new cases and the rate dropped to less than 1 percent.
No one can force anyone to take a vaccine, but understand this: We will only overcome this pandemic through their widespread use. The stubborn reluctance to be vaccinated on the part of many holdouts is jeopardizing public health. It’s as simple as that.
So, we urge the unvaccinated to get a vaccine — and a flu shot — as soon as possible. And if you’re already vaccinated and coming up for your booster, get it.
We understand the reluctance on the part of some parents to vaccinate their children. It’s one thing to take the shot — and accept the minimal risks — yourself. It’s another to impose those possible risks on your kids. The thing is, the risk of falling ill with the coronavirus — and potentially spreading it to vulnerable populations, including immuno-compromised children — outweighs any risks from the vaccines themselves.
The bottom line: Get vaccinated, now, not later.