OPINION: I’ve had Covid-19 twice and I’m ready for this pandemic to end

Price Wilborn, Commentary writer

I’ve had COVID-19 twice now. The first time was last February, just after Valentine’s Day. The second time, ironically, was almost a year to the day from the first time.

It sucks.

I was in isolation this past weekend when I started thinking about this piece.

I was aware that the weekend I was supposed to be spending with my parents and brother in Bowling Green was happening, just without me.I was aware of the fact that I was going to miss my brother’s rec-league basketball game that I really wanted to watch.

I felt unnecessarily guilty because of the people that have had to go home and quarantine because of their close contact with me, even though it’s not my fault.

I felt a greater sense of that feeling that we’ve all had since March 2020. I’m even more ready for this pandemic to be over, and I can’t help but think, “why in the world can’t people just do what they need to do?”

I totally get it. The masks are unpleasant. The quarantine rules suck. The ever-changing state of the pandemic has created a sense of uncertainty. Even more than that, though, it’s created fatigue.

People are tired of the pandemic. People are tired of all the rules and restrictions. I get it, I am too. Americans see the restrictions being lifted around the nation and the world and are wondering when they’ll be next.

There is something about COVID-19 on the news nightly. Sometimes it’s about the rising case numbers. Sometimes it’s about the falling case numbers. Sometimes it’s about vaccines.

I’m not suggesting that we go back into lockdown. No one, including myself, wants that. What I am asking is that people look at the data and realize that this isn’t going away unless we keep doing what’s needed. Wear your mask when you’re supposed to wear it. Realize that your quarantine isn’t for you but is for those around you, too.

Some people see the masks as violating their freedoms as an American. Some see them as ineffective. Both of these things are simply not true.

The mask mandates aren’t in place to allow the crazy far-left liberals to scare you into submission. They’re there to protect you. They were initially put in place under a Republican president and many Republican governors, after all. 

WKU lifted its mask mandate on Feb. 25. Numbers are going down. We just need everyone to do whatever it is that they need to do, following whatever guidelines the CDC and the university puts in place.

Research has shown that the masks are helping. When mask mandates were in effect all around the country, infection rates went down. The lifting of these mandates have caused numbers to rise again, yet people aren’t willing to get vaccinated and do their part.

The hesitation to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is something that I understand more than the aversion to masks, though. The vaccines were developed quickly. It took a long time for the FDA to fully approve even one of them. The lack of information available at the start of the vaccine rollout was troubling.

The world is tired. We want more than anything to go back to normal. In many ways we have. We still have a ways to go, though.

Having had COVID-19 twice now, my exhaustion has reached new levels. My desire to get this pandemic past us has grown. I hate isolating and quarantining.

More than that, though, I’ve begun to grow angry. The ignorance that people show to the mask mandates is unacceptable. Being uninformed and still refusing to get vaccinated can no longer be tolerated.

Yet those loudest voices calling for the end of the pandemic are also the ones refusing to wear their mask as they should or get their vaccination. 

If we are to get through this thing, Americans must realize that we have to work together. Masks, vaccines and the pandemic as a whole have become so unnecessarily politicized that it’s hard to see through it.

Yes, it sucks. Yes, it’s hard. President John F. Kennedy said in 1962 that “we choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” I would argue, however, that what we as Americans must do to beat this pandemic is much easier than putting a man on the Moon.

Kennedy continued to say that the challenge to go to the moon “is one that we’re willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win.”

The challenge of beating this virus has become harder as the pandemic has progressed because of the increased politicization of the issues.

We as Americans cannot take the easy way out. We cannot get rid of the mask mandates at a time when they are needed more than ever. It’s going to be hard, but we’ve done the hardest work already. We have to choose to do the hard work so we can (once again) slow down the spread.

While we are not fighting the Soviet Union to be the first to the Moon, beating the pandemic is a challenge we must accept, one that we can no longer postpone and one that we must intend to win.

Commentary writer Price Wilborn can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @pricewilborn.