The COVID-19 disappearing act  


Ren Loyd

The COVID-19 pandemic caught the entire world in its never ending web, consisting of new waves and variants. Even though new vaccines mitigated the number deaths and slowed the skyrocketing cases, the name “COVID-19” still rings in everyone’s ears. Seemingly, it will not end anytime soon.

Ren Lloyd, Reporter

As the COVID-19 craze subsided in mid-2021, the pandemic seemingly disappeared from everyone’s mind. Countless establishments eliminated their mask mandates and reverted back to optional mask-wearing. With schools reopening, students attending school in person, and stores reopening, the “new normal” feels quite normal. 

Regardless of the countless COVID-19 cases this year, 29% of Americans believe that the pandemic ended, while 71% feel otherwise. Following the end of the pandemic lockdown, people gradually began to grow numb to the drastic effects of the ongoing pandemic. Since the advent of the vaccine, mask-wearing decreased and fewer people stayed at home. A great number of people also believed that their lives would quickly return to normalcy. A Gallup poll released in June proved that 47% of Americans felt that their lives would return back to normal shortly after the lockdown.

On May 20, 2021, American states began lifting the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown regulations and allowing people to live more freely. States such as Florida, Georgia, and Texas quickly lifted their pandemic mandates and tried their best to revert back to pre-covid life. According to Statista, in May of 2021, 22 out of the 50 states lifted their COVID-19 restrictions. The vast majority of these states that lifted mask mandates and lockdown restrictions, used the vaccine as a way to move forward. However, states such as Alabama and South Carolina ended their mask mandates soon after the government lifted lockdown protocols. 

In spite of this sudden change in feeling toward the COVID-19 pandemic, the new variant, Omicron, will give the world a rude awakening. Originating in South Africa, this variant spread exceedingly fast over the month of November. According to NewScientist, cases for this variant doubled within 3 to 4 days of its discovery. So far, the CDC found cases in 16 out of the 50 states.  Although authorities released little information on the Omicron variant, the CDC emphasizes that people should continue following COVID-19 guidelines. 

People should take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously because no one knows if or when it will affect them or their families. To cause more awareness of the pandemic, people should abide by the rules that establishments set in place to prevent the further spread of the virus. People can always wear masks to keep themselves safe if they doubt the vaccine. People should also stop promoting large concerts and superspreader events that will cause the virus to easily spread. If the public continues to ignore the severity of the pandemic, cases will continue to rise and the world might never see the end of the COVID-19 era. 

Becoming aware that the pandemic still exists will encourage people to continue to remain cautious of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the British Medical Journal, mask-wearing caused cases to drop 53%. Handwashing, social distancing and vaccines also help prevent an increase in cases. Among multiple studies, researchers discovered that social distancing caused a 25% decrease in cases. Since the pandemic peak in September, the number of cases decreased to about 35%. The vaccines most likely caused this decrease. 

“I am really scared of the new variant because it seems like new ones keep coming and some of them are becoming worse than the previous ones. I think everyone should protect themselves. I also do not think that the pandemic is ending anytime soon,” magnet senior Cayenne Jonkam said.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic remains alive and well in America as well as across the globe. Every few months the CDC introduces new variants and rising cases. People should still acknowledge the severity of this virus and continue to take the vaccine, wear masks, get tested and stay safe.