EDITORIAL

Thankful for progress against COVID

Posted 11/17/21

Although it can be tempting to dwell in the doom and gloom associated with our ever-present lingering in a pandemic-stricken world, there is value to taking a moment to recognize how far we have come as a state in fighting off this destructive disease.

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EDITORIAL

Thankful for progress against COVID

Posted

Although it can be tempting to dwell in the doom and gloom associated with our ever-present lingering in a pandemic-stricken world, there is value to taking a moment to recognize how far we have come as a state in fighting off this destructive disease.

Recent headlines have shown that Rhode Island continues to be among the top states in the nation for COVID vaccinations, and actually leads the entire nation in the percent of nursing home staff who are fully vaccinated (96.7 percent as of Nov. 10). The Ocean State is also near the top in terms of nursing home residents who are fully vaccinated (93.4 percent).

This is a notable accomplishment worthy of considerable praise, as it is the elderly who have paid the highest price and faced the starkest changes to their lives throughout this pandemic. It is a sign that the states vaccine mandate for health care workers has been effective and, as a result, will undoubtedly save lives.

On an individual basis, Rhode Island residents likely feel significantly more normal headed into this year’s holiday season than in 2020, when lockdowns, mandated social distancing, and restrictions on various businesses made it anything but a festive time of year. Many exercised caution by not gathering in large numbers with family, cognizant that the temporary sadness of missing out on family events did not size up to the risk of possibly losing a family member forever to COVID.

Thankfully, Rhode Island is a state mostly comprised of team players – people who understand that their own personal comforts and desires do not outweigh the health risks that their behaviors may impose on their many neighbors and peers. This has resulted in high vaccination rates, good accordance with public health directives and, if you can believe it, a prompt reopening of the economy that has saved Rhode Island from worse possible outcomes.

Of course, not all have been so selfless in their response to the crisis, and not all have been spared the consequences of this pandemics wrath. We were reminded of the importance of following protocols to contain the virus when Pilgrim High School closed this week because of the numbers of people who contracted COVID-19 in the wake of the school’s homecoming events.

Since March of 2020 when the state shutdown, many people have died; many businesses have shuttered. We cannot forget the toll this virus has wrought, or that things could have been so much exponentially worse if the disease itself was more virulent. We hope that those who have shirked at public health mandates and continue to spread vaccine disinformation will ruminate truthfully on these behaviors during this holiday season.

We are truly proud of Rhode Island for its response, from the top levels of government and on down to the individual citizens. We are once again grateful for the tireless work of public health workers and all of those who continue to contribute towards returning our state, and our lives, to a place of much-needed normalcy.

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