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We all must remain vigilant versus virus

I am writing in response to the article “Experts warn against COVID-19 variants” published on Feb. 19.

Although there has been a decrease in COVID-19 related deaths, as well as a decrease in rates of infection, states need to stay vigilant about their efforts to combat the virus.

This is not the time to stop mask mandates or fully open. As mentioned in the article, there is not enough known about the variants of COVID-19 to safely open.

There is still a threat of these variances becoming more dangerous than the original.

One variant may have the ability to reinfect people who have recovered from earlier versions of the coronavirus and be somewhat resistant to some of the coronavirus vaccines in development (Bollinger & Ray, 2020).

As a nurse working in the Altoona area, I have been plagued by thoughts and emotions experienced during the height of the pandemic.

Patients were hospitalized and dying without their family present, and families were stuck at home wondering what happened to their loved ones.

I have gone from seeing one patient die a month, to two or three die in a day.

Amid the pandemic, I lay awake at night wondering how people can be so egocentric to not wear masks or take other precautions to keep their friends, family, and neighbors safe.

Dr. Anthony Fauci even believes Americans may still be wearing masks outside their homes a year from now (Goodnaugh, 2021). So, it is not the time to become lax with our efforts.

I have seen the worst in the community, and now it is time to show the best.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC, 2021), there are four preventative measures that can slow the spread of COVID-19 including wearing masks, staying six feet apart, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated areas and washing our hands.

If we can keep the current efforts going, we may be able to push through the COVID-19 variants without losing all progress.

Breanna Shenk RN

Duncansville

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