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It’s not time to let guard down vs. virus

I am writing this letter as a reply to the Feb. 17 article “Blair virus rates falling.”

With COVID-19 cases decreasing in recent weeks, an echo of caution still needs to be conveyed. Social distancing and mask wearing still need to be encouraged by everyone with a large influence in the community.

Working in the local area, I see the effects COVID-19 has on patients and their families.

Tough ethical decisions are being made in order to protect healthcare workers and patients’ families. Many people focus on the case rates and the death rates to assess the current COVID-19 situation in the area.

What people also need to remember is the morbidity associated with this virus.

According to the National Cancer Institute, morbidity “refers to having a disease or a symptom of disease, or to the amount of disease within a population.

Morbidity also refers to medical problems caused by a treatment. In non-medical terms, morbidity focuses on the quality of life (QOL) of a patient.

When looking at the morbidity among patients who have recovered from COVID-19, many of the older patients have developed chronic lung damage.

COVID-19 is also being linked to heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms in recovered patients. There is a large population of patients staying in long term acute-care (LTAC) facilities with tracheostomies and feeding tubes because of the effects of COVID-19.

I applaud the community for following recommended guidelines of social distancing and mask wearing, and they need to continue to do their part in slowing the spread of the virus. I know this is something the community is getting tired of hearing, but it is for the best.

I encourage everyone who is able to get their vaccine to do so. We will eventually return to a state of normalcy.

The more we do our part, the quicker that goal will be achieved.

Sean Montler RN

Altoona

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