It’s hard not to feel defeated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Just as things begin to look up, something happens that casts doubt on if this thing will ever end. We have several widely-available vaccines now — that’s awesome!

Oh wait, Wyoming only has a 38.2% vaccination rate. That’s not so awesome.

The vaccines were meant to be an important tool in curbing COVID-19 transmission. “Tool” is the important word here as nothing short of an actual cure for the disease itself will single-handedly end the pandemic once and for all.

Vaccines are not 100% effective, though the offerings from Moderna and Pfizer have effectiveness rates in the 90% range while the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is at 66%. While not a magic bullet to kill the pandemic, any vaccine allows for a reduction in the transmission of COVID-19, which is the key in ending it. Less opportunity to spread means a lessened likelihood of people contracting COVID-19.

Another tool is masks. Masks themselves cannot protect 100% against the novel coronavirus, but they provide some protection and more people wearing them means a decreased chance of contracting the disease.

Social distancing is also an important tool to reduce transmission because increased distance means lessened chance of being exposed when someone sneezes or coughs. Everything working together reduces the likelihood of transmission, which would not only help end the pandemic, but also ensure the hospital wouldn’t get overrun with patients seeking treatment for COVID-19.

That isn’t happening and now it’s hard to see a day when this pandemic is truly over.

We could urge everyone who can get vaccinated to take the shot. Or urge local governments to initiate mask orders in public spaces. Or ask the state to do more in its near-nonexistent response to the global pandemic.

But, we also realize its mostly wasted ink on a page if we were to make those calls.

People have made up their minds and those against wearing a mask, getting vaccinated or doing anything designed to reduce transmission of COVID-19 largely won’t be swayed regardless of what happens to them or their friends and family.

With future COVID-19 infection spikes, the state’s hospitals will get overrun with patients. People will get sick and some will die.

All that’s left is hope for the best. And hope a mutation in the coronavirus doesn’t happen that sets everything back to square one.

Green River Star

Oct. 7

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