OPINION: Take COVID seriously, even if you’re vaccinated


It’s been roughly two years since COVID-19 took over the world and it’s still far from over. The new strain, Omicron, has led to more infections and more talk about how we can stop this pandemic. 

Why has it taken two years? Because people didn’t take it seriously then, and they’re still not taking it seriously now.

Yes, it’s true that 54% of the county is fully vaccinated. The vaccine has been scientifically proven to lessen people’s symptoms and help keep them out of the hospital. It’s life-saving.

However, does that mean that 54% of fully vaccinated people go about their life with taking no precautions? No. People who are vaccinated need to continue to help protect themselves and those around them. 

The positive test rate is currently 22.6%, according to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard. This is the highest the test rate has ever been. As of Jan. 17, 277 people are in the hospital and 80 of those currently reside in the ICU. 

It’s true that most college students without underlying health conditions aren’t at as much risk of getting a severe case of COVID-19. But what about faculty and staff we come in contact with everyday who could be at risk? 18-34 year olds are not the entire population of the world. Just because we might not be at risk, does not mean we shouldn’t be concerned about those around us.

Our healthcare workers have worked tirelessly since March 2020 to care for those affected by the virus. They have risked their own safety to help the most vulnerable. By acting like the pandemic is over — when in reality, it’s worse than it has ever been — you are disrespecting those who have given everything to keep you safe.

An argument people hide behind is that Omicron’s symptoms are less lethal than other variants. While this is true, it has also proven to be the most contagious. And Kansas is seeing that first hand. 

Four USD259 schools had to close due to staff shortages caused by COVID-19. People argue that we need to get rid of mandates so we can continue business, but what happens when there are not enough healthy people who are able to work? If everyone is home with COVID, how exactly are we supposed to keep businesses open? 

People argue for in-person teaching, but do not have a plan on how to do that when teachers are unable to work. Risking everyone’s health and safety to keep businesses open does not work. It just makes it worse.

Don’t get me wrong, I want normal life back. I want in-person teaching, I want to go to parties with friends, I want to go to the mall without a mask. But not taking precautions now means more cases in the future.