by Curt Kovener
As Indiana continues its “Back on Track” phased reopening, as people resume activities that were stopped after shutdown orders took effect, it’s worth stating the obvious.
The coronavirus is still with us. And that we can’t afford to ignore that reality.
It’s understandable that people are frustrated and tired of being shut in, that they’re anxious to regain a sense of normalcy. But throwing caution to the wind— by not wearing masks in public, by ignoring physical distancing, by disregarding the advice of health officials— could jeopardize all that was gained during months spent in self-quarantine.
There are cautionary tales all around us if we care to look. In at least half a dozen states that have reopened — Arizona, Florida, Texas, Arkansas and both of the Carolinas — and the number of cases there are rising.
So far, with some geographic pockets of exceptions, Indiana’s COVID-19 deaths and new cases has stabilized…at least of this writing.
Good for us and applause to those who have been socially distant, washing your hands and wearing your masks. Keep up the good practices because, and we all need to remember this Yogi Berra quote “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
And it won’t be over until there is a vaccine.
It is likely that the virus has slowed in Indiana due to our collective efforts to be safer, engage in social distancing, and reduce transmission by wearing masks and adhering to higher hand- and surface-hygiene standards. This was an example of Hoosiers successfully hunkering down during the initial outbreak.”
But we can prune the inevitable increases by doing what medical professionals advise.
And as we celebrate the nation’s birthday this Saturday, don’t act like college students on spring break. And if you like to fly that Revolutionary War era yellow Gadsen flag with a coiled timber rattlesnake proclaiming “Don’t Tread On Me” remember that the Coronavirus will tread on whoever it damn well wants. Your constitutional rights mean nothing to a virus for which there is no vaccine or cure.
We’re all tired of being cooped up, but let your guard down, even for a brief time, and you could be helping increase the number of those infected in the state.
We need to continue taking a cautious approach, listening to health officials —and acknowledging that the coronavirus hasn’t gone away.