The Pandemic Isn’t Over, Remain Vigilant Over Covid And Let’s Finally Get Through This
There’s an old saying that you shouldn’t blame the messenger when you receive bad news.
However, that saying is reliant on the messenger being a neutral party.
When the messenger is merely the one bringing you the message, it’s without blame.
For example, when we at QuadCities.com, give you a story featuring covid statistics, we’re passing along information we’ve gleaned from an official source.
We also attribute that source, so that you know where we got that information.
We have no part in creating that information.
We do not make up the statistics.
We do the duty of what the media is SUPPOSED to do – pass along information that’s important so that it can be seen by the widest audience possible.
What that audience does with the information is up to them. The decisions they make are their responsibility.
It’s our responsibility to be as accurate as possible within our ability to present accurate information.
And that’s what we do.
Like yesterday, when we ran a story about troubling numbers on covid coming from the Rock Island County Health Department. We did not make those numbers up. We did not quote some flaky and dubious “professor” from the internet or some alternate healer, we quoted actual statistics from a reputable agency compiling relevant data, so that you could be informed on fact-based statistics and trends, to keep you and your loved ones informed and safe.
There are also times that we present opinion columns. These are clearly marked as columns, and should be understood as such. They contain factual information, and then take that factual information and formulate opinions based upon it.
For example, here’s a column I wrote on Dec. 16, offering my opinion about what needed to be done to help Illinois and Iowa, and the U.S., more quickly get past covid-19.
In the column, I took the factual evidence before me, looked at and analyzed that evidence, and formulated an opinion based upon that evidence.
One of those opinions I wrote, on Dec. 16, was the following:
“It usually takes 2-3 weeks for infection numbers to spike after these types of gatherings. Well, 2-3 weeks after Thanksgiving takes us to mid-December. Then 2-3 weeks after the Christmas and New Year’s Week takes us into mid-January.”
I was taking a chance in presenting that opinion. But it was an opinion based in fact and analysis of factual evidence, which increased my chances of being correct. And, lo and behold, when you look at factual evidence and analyze it, your odds of being correct are increased, as they were in that column from Dec. 16, and as they had
been in previous columns I’d written.
In an earlier column in mid-November, I predicted cases would spike a week or two after Thanksgiving. They did. Iowa had a surge up to 19, 148 on Dec. 25, which is a surge of almost 2,500 cases over the day before, and reflects numbers spiking up.
Then I predicted cases would spike again a week or two after Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And Jan. 8, two weeks after Christmas, we saw another surge, as Iowa hit 2,478 cases, which was its highest peak since – you guessed it – Dec. 18.
Now, the good news is, based on facts and data, I’m hoping that we don’t get another surge. On the positive side, the mitigations put in place have worked, particularly on the Illinois side, which has seen its numbers dip mightily. That wasn’t luck, that was science. That was Governor JB Pritzker following the data, telling people to take simple precautions, and enacting mitigations which worked to stop the spread and staunch the damage done. When Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds enacted mitigations last fall, it also worked. Funny, that, when you follow common sense precautions based upon science, it works out.
And now we find ourselves on the edge of another era in regard to covid. Temperatures are going up, which is good news, as science has shown that higher temperatures slow the spread of covid due primarily to two factors — that the virus has a difficult time surviving outdoors in those higher temperatures, and because people aren’t cooped up inside where they’re more likely to spread the virus. In addition, vaccines are being administered on the regular, and the new covid bill about to be passed should fast track those vaccines even more, which should help move us towards herd immunity much more quickly.
However, we’re not completely out of the woods yet. It’s St. Patrick’s Day this weekend, and a lot of people will once more be getting together. There are a number of variants to the virus out there that could complicate things. We don’t know how much because viruses can be unpredictable, especially when they’re mutating. Also, the original virus is still around, and is still a threat if people just completely go off the deep end and stop enacting any mitigations whatsoever.
We all want this pandemic to finally end. We all want things to go back to a more normal atmosphere. We all want to be able to go out, go to events, see our friends, have our businesses thrive again.
But that means that for a while longer, we still need to use common sense to get through this.
Wear your mask. Be smart in regard to social distancing. Keep your immune system up through vitamins, diet and exercise. And just exercise common sense. It’s not that difficult.
Let’s keep ourselves, our families, and the people around us safe — especially those people at high risk.
Let’s get through this together.