A man wears a mask while walking down Canyon Street in Creston on Nov. 13. Photo: Aaron Hemens

Editorial: A Great Wake-up Call

"When the COVID-19 letter was shared on our Facebook page, the regular virus deniers and conspiracy theorists who constantly flood the comment section with nonsense didn't say a word."

Early last week, I received a letter from a Creston resident who has COVID-19. You can read the letter in full, where she outlines some of her symptoms: a bark-like cough, a fever, vertigo, intestinal upset, tightness in her chest and shortness of breath.

She was on day 12 of the virus when I had the chance to speak to her over the phone. She has no idea where she contracted the virus. She shared with me some other startling information, which includes prolonged lung damage that could last for months.

I’m glad she sent in this letter. It’s a great wake up call for many, and it’s a much-needed perspective that is greatly lacking in the media. We see the infection and mortality rates, but we rarely do we hear what it’s like to actually have the virus.

I read a lot of rubbish from the same folks on the Advance’s Facebook page time and time again about COVID-19. When the letter was shared on our Facebook page, the regular COVID-19 deniers and conspiracy theorists who constantly flood the comment section with nonsense didn’t say a word. Not a single peep was heard from them, and I didn’t have to delete any of their comments spreading hate or misinformation.

Instead, the comment section was filled with residents expressing their concern for the writer and commending her for her bravery. Dozens of warm wishes and speedy recoveries were shared. It was nice to see people being compassionate and understanding of the severity of the virus.

Whether you like it or not, the virus is real. And it can be fatal. Many of us, especially if you’re young, have a pretty good chance of survival if you contract it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of death due to the virus is 90 times higher for people between the ages of 75 and 84 when compared to those who are between the ages of 18 and 29.

Since the pandemic first hit in March, my main concern about the virus was not about my own safety and well being. Rather, my concern was — and still is — catching the virus and unknowingly infecting others, especially those who are immunocompromised.

Quite frankly, that should be everyone’s concern and I still don’t understand why that isn’t the case. This pandemic has really brought out the selfishness in our society, and it’s disheartening to see.

If human-beings really cared about one another, we would’ve worked together to find a way to get this pandemic under control and the virus contained by now. But a lot of us don’t care about one another. The reality is, a lot of people only care about themselves. That’s the reason why numbers continue to grow and why we are still stuck in this pandemic.

Like millions of people around the world, I am tired of this pandemic. I want it to end and I want things to go back to normal. But we can’t get there unless we all do our part. Until then, wash your hands, wear a mask, social distance and be kind to one another.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:<a href="mailto:aaron.hemens@crestonvalleyadvance.ca

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