Extinguishing the COVID campfire

Chris Hertig
Spring Garden Township

When extinguishing a campfire, one must be very careful. After scrupulously stomping it out and looking for embers or smoke, water should be poured over the entire area.

If there are active embers left, these can ignite a tree root. Needing little oxygen, the root provides just enough fuel to sustain a smoldering fire. It will burn. Slowly. In time it will set a nearby tree ablaze.

COVID is kind of like a smoldering tree root. A full court press is needed to extinguish it.

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A man stands amid burning pyres of victims who lost their lives due to the COVID-19 pandemic at a cremation ground in New Delhi on April 26, 2021. (Money Sharma/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Unfortunately, we have had politicization and resistance to vaccination, mask wearing, etc. We have not had a good conversation about the social contract, where being vaccinated and taking other risk-reduction measures is our collective responsibility.

Medical personnel are fed up with COVID patients who are unvaccinated. These people occupy precious medical space for weeks — or longer. They take away resources from other folks who need medical attention — people who need it badly, who need intensive care.

And usually they die.

History teaches us that virus mutations are generally of a milder nature. However, in 1918 the Spanish flu mutated into a more virulent form. It killed many. This could happen again. It is not probable, but possible. Over time It becomes probable due to mutation. The longer COVID is around — the greater the danger.

It must be stamped out with water poured over it in copious amounts. Historians vary in how long the Spanish Flu existed in pockets; 1924 is one date, 1930 is another. And today, with auto and air travel, the pockets of old don’t exist.

We need a full court press to extinguish COVID. Vaccination. Booster shots. Vitamin D. Hand washing in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds with particular attention to flushing the fingerprint area. Avoidance of indoor gatherings. Physical distancing. Appropriate — key word — mask wearing in grocery stores and pharmacies.