This sick situation has provided far more questions than answers. Do you feel that phlegm in the back of your throat? Did you just sneeze? Or was that a cough? Are you suffering from an annual case of the seasonal sniffles? Or are you infected with the
This sick situation has provided far more questions than answers.
Do you feel that phlegm in the back of your throat?
Did you just sneeze? Or was that a cough?
Are you suffering from an annual case of the seasonal sniffles? Or are you infected with the latest mutant COVID-19 variant?
Countless Rhode Islanders are asking themselves these questions during this final week of 2021, following Christmas parties and festive dinners.
Headed toward New Year’s Eve, and perhaps another gathering with family and friends, virus testing has never been in higher demand.
Have we lost our minds, or are we justly paranoid following two years of a lingering pandemic?
Lines are stretching outside of testing centers across the Ocean State.
Pharmacy stocks of take-home tests have been severely depleted. Finding a test can be difficult, if not near impossible.
And if I find a test, can I trust the results? (Nobody seems to be able to answer that question with a reliable answer.)
Just about every resident of Rhode Island now knows someone who has just tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.
Maybe your child has been exposed in a classroom. Maybe you stood behind a coughing patient while waiting for your booster shot. Maybe you picked up the bug while hugging your grandmother.
No matter the source of exposure, you’re not alone.
The test frenzy has gripped even the most steadied and resolute among us.
An already decimated work force finds itself further reduced by sick employees and quarantined workers.
The federal government has reduced the isolation time for asymptomatic positive cases to five days following an affirmative test result. That might help a little.
The federal government has also pledged to purchase and distribute a half billion tests to Americans in January.
Has that move made it more difficult to find take-home tests at your local pharmacy?
Or is this all just a sign that we’re concerned for our fellow man? Mask requirements are back in place — almost.
Early data seems to indicate that the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 is possibly more easily transmissible, but also quite possibly less deadly.
However, the timing, coinciding with the holidays and New England’s winter weather forcing us indoors, could not be worse.
Nobody wants to be the source of the virus at a holiday super-spreader event. Nobody wants to be “that guy” who brought the bug to the party.
But is testing, and more testing, the answer?
“Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you and those around you from serious illness related to COVID-19,” according to Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee. “I thank all Rhode Islanders who have already rolled up their sleeves, got vaccinated and then got boosted.”
Many of us have now absorbed three shots of the vaccine that could help save us and those around us. We thought that would be enough. We all thought this pandemic would be over by now.
In the meantime, we need to let common sense prevail.
Between testing, masking and jabbing, the people of Rhode Island are exhausted. But perhaps exhausted is better than struggling for breath in an ICU bed.
Can we test ourselves out of this situation? Are “more tests” the answer to our current conundrum?
Or are we placing far too much faith in the testing apparatus that seems to be crumbling beneath us?
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