OUR VIEW: In the dark on COVID cases

Published 11:30 am Tuesday, July 12, 2022

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A few years ago, the best way to track the trajectory of COVID-19 was through total cases. When cases were going up, hospitalizations and deaths usually followed.

Over time, cases have become a much worse way to track the current outlook of the pandemic. With the adaptation to at-home test kits, many positive COVID-19 tests aren’t getting reported right now. Unless someone gets to a hospital or goes into a doctor’s office to be tested, the positive case isn’t tracked.

Therefore, for the first time since the early stages of the pandemic we’re sort of in a blind area for the total number of cases. If a variant goes around that doesn’t require as many hospitalizations, we really have a lot less information about how many people are infected.

The new dominant variant in the country is BA.5, which comes from the Omicron strain. Reports are with the new strain, people can be re-infected as early as a month later.

Even two years in, it’s still a challenge to adjust to this new normal, where we have to keep up with new variants and take measures to protect ourselves.

We are completely in favor of people living their lives and not living in fear. At some point, COVID becomes something we just have to live with and adjust to, but that doesn’t mean we need to ignore it either.

Getting a vaccine and a booster shot is the best way. If you’re going to be in big crowds, it’s not fun, but it’s not a terrible idea to put on a mask. It can only help.

Also, get your free COVID tests from the government by ordering online. Why wouldn’t you? We encourage you to continue taking steps to keep your family well. August is almost here, meaning school, football (and other sports) and plenty of gatherings.  Read up on the new variant and try to be prepared.