By Michelle Moreno Lira
The U.S. reached 500,000 COVID-related deaths last week, and as the numbers continue growing, people have become numb. The U.S. government’s effort remains the same, no new regulations have been announced, but the rate of vaccinations is still timely.
Government officials have shown concern and offered condolences for the lives lost by COVID-19. Despite these actions, they haven’t put the country back on lockdown or closed unnecessary businesses to lower the rate of infection.
It seems as if people are becoming numb to the numbers and are choosing to continue their normal lives without considering their participation in the deaths. Many people chose to go out to shopping centers, indoor dining, traveling, etc., further exposing themselves and others.
While I understand the desire to return to normal life before the pandemic, our participation exposes people who are taking all precautions and yet become infected with the virus. According to NPR, for the families who’ve lost loved ones, it’s apparent that the world has become numb and no longer cares about the numbers. For us, they’re just numbers, but thousands of people have lost important people in their lives, and condolences from the government aren’t going to bring them back.
The U.S. has maintained the same pace in vaccinations, not moving further into the next phase to vaccinate more people at risk. These people are anxiously awaiting their turn, but many don’t protect themselves from other people’s selfish actions.
California’s Governor Gavin Newsom made the drastic decision to lift the stay-at-home order in California in January. While the numbers in California have decreased, they’re still alarming and should require Californians to remain at home and reduce unnecessary exposure.
The numbers allow many professionals to believe that Americans will be dealing with the effects of COVID-19 until 2022. According to USA Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci believes Americans will be wearing masks until 2022, and we might never reach herd immunity.
Although many of us might try returning to our normal lives, it isn’t easy to see a society where we’re mask-free and worry-free in terms of being around each other. The U.S. wants Americans to return to normal life, yet this could be at the expense of more deaths if the U.S. doesn’t maintain strict regulations.
I believe it was completely unnecessary to reopen indoor dining because it wasn’t a priority. Priorities ensure everyone is vaccinated by the end of the year or that there are enough vaccinations to begin the next phase of vaccinations. Essential workers are still exposing themselves to the virus daily.
The list of priorities continues growing as Texans suffer from harsh weather conditions and continue dying because of freezing temperatures. Texans remained with little resources until last week; the U.S. should’ve diverted more resources such as food or warm clothing. While many are losing their lives to COVID-19, they’re also suffering from unprecedented weather conditions.
The U.S. has many priorities that it must seek to resolve above all else before dedicating unnecessary attention to reopening cities that remain with high COVID-19 cases. It’s only until people are personally affected by the virus that they pay attention to the importance of minimizing unnecessary exposure.
The efforts of the U.S. government need to get better and prioritize the lives of Americans. If professionals believe we’ll see the effects of COVID-19 until 2022, we must do our best to minimize these predictions. Although there’s no stay-at-home order for the U.S., we need to minimize exposing ourselves and others by minimizing traveling, indoor dining and social gatherings.
If the government doesn’t force these restrictions, we must do so ourselves.
Michelle Moreno is a fourth-year majoring in English and minoring in Chicano Studies. She is from Downtown Los Angeles.
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