The pages of this week’s paper are filled with distressing news about the pandemic. We’re in the midst of what public health officials call a “surge upon a surge,” with new cases spread at Thanksgiving gatherings being added to the seasonal surge associated with the onset of cold weather.
But at long last, after months of bleak uncertainty, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Vaccines are being rushed to completion and have received emergency authorization, and plans are already in the works for the distribution of the vaccines, at first to health care workers and nursing home employees, and eventually – perhaps as early as early spring – for the public.
While hospitalizations are up, and while COVID-19 continues to be deadly, advances in treatment have kept mortality from spiking as well.
And as we’re reporting this week, a long-awaited expansion of coronavirus testing on the Cape is finally coming to fruition. It will soon be possible for people who aren’t showing COVID-19 symptoms to get tested, further stemming the spread of the virus.
But you’ve heard the old punchline: sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.
While there are new signs of hope every day, we’re still in a perilous place. Only by following the rules we all know by now – wearing a mask in public, keeping six feet away from others, washing and sanitizing hands frequently, and staying home when you feel sick – can we reverse the current climb in cases.
We can’t control what happens in Washington, in North Dakota, in Barnstable, or even in the house across the street. But we can take responsibility for ourselves and our families, and now’s the time to do it.