By Abbie Cornett
I am as ready as the next person is for life to return to normal. I have found myself resenting the need to wear a mask, to not be able to go to movies and to not be able to travel. In fact, to be honest, I have become lax about taking precautions against COVID. In my defense, I am tired of the whole thing.
Unfortunately, the reality is this is not the time to let our collective guard down. This fact was brought home to me in the worst possible way. I opened Facebook this morning to do a little catching up while I drank my coffee, only to find out a friend from college had died of COVID-related complications. He was a healthy 50ish-year-old man full of life with many friends and family who loved him.
While stay-at-home orders have been lifted, and businesses have reopened, COVID-19 remains a real and present threat. Even with more people vaccinated against COVID-19, health leaders say new daily cases are on the rise,1 so much so that on March 30, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised Americans to guard against a fourth wave of the virus.
CDC recommends everyone still needs to protect themselves, even those who have been fully vaccinated. This is important because we're still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should still keep wearing a mask and remain 6 feet apart from others. Further, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.2
While vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19, it is essential to remember this is a new disease. There are still many unknowns such as how effective the vaccine is against variants, how long the vaccine is protective and how effective it is in stopping the spread of the disease.
What is known is that prevention helps stop the spread. So even though I am tired, I am reminding myself to remain diligent and take precautions; it's not just for me, but for people like my friend.
1. New Daily COVID-19 cases are on the rise. Fox News. Accessed at
Accessed at https://www.fox10tv.com/news/coronavirus/new-daily-covid-19-cases-are-on-the-rise/article_1a5404a4-9147-11eb-99fd-3ba25942a375.html?block_id=1002168.
2. When you have been fully vaccinated. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed at
Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html.