Temperatures are rising and COVID-19 cases are dropping, but we owe it to each other to maintain public health.
With summer approaching and many events coming back, people are starting to go back to pre-COVID-19 activities. That is fine and exciting, as long as you also acknowledge that there are still people who are immunocompromised or are too young to be vaccinated. With relaxed masks mandates and few social distancing rules being followed in indoor places, there is a higher chance of exposure to COVID-19. Even though there are fewer positive cases than in the previous summer months, and many have mild symptoms due to the current strain, individuals should still exercise caution.
While mask mandates have been lifted on American planes, that doesn’t mean COVID-19 is gone or has transitioned to a “seasonal cold”. In two years, nearly 1 million people have died in the United States alone due to COVID-19. There are many countries that are still dealing with an increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly Australia and Great Britain. U.S.-based scientists expect another wave to hit the United States in the fall, similar to a spike in cold and flu cases.
The summer of 2022 is expected to have lower cases than in the past two years, with many people taking a breath of relief of getting “back to normal.” But nothing is normal anymore– the entire world experienced a traumatic event, and there is still a population of people who are at higher risk, especially when new variants could pop up in the future.
All we ask is that this summer, you think larger than yourself. If you see someone wearing a mask at an event, instead of judging them, acknowledge that maybe they themselves or a family member were recently diagnosed with cancer If you are able to, once it is recommended by your doctor, get another booster. Get tested if you have symptoms or you think you may have been exposed, there are so many home tests for purchase and Walgreens and CVS are still offering free tests.
This summer can be wonderful, as long as we take a second to acknowledge those around us who may still be hesitant to rejoin large groups after two years. Take care of yourself and give each other grace.