Johnstonians are already learning to live with COVID | The Johnstonian News
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Johnstonians are already learning to live with COVID

Posted on February 21, 2022

Updated on February 26, 2022

OpinionEditorials
Stock photo | Pixabay

Stock photo | Pixabay

At every level of government, our elected leaders and the medical experts who advise them are saying it’s time to learn to live with COVID-19. That’s why, among other things, they’re lifting mask mandates in public buildings, restaurants, schools and other places. It's why they're telling schools to abandon contact tracing for positive COVID cases.

We hate to steal that thunder, but Johnstonians have been living with the virus for months now, even if they’re doing so in different ways.

One group has never paid much mind to the pleadings of their elected leaders and medical experts. They haven’t received the vaccine, and they’ve paid no heed to mask rules unless told to put one on or get out. They argued early and loudly against lockdowns and returned to restaurants and stores as soon as they could.

Another group diligently wore their masks to those same restaurants and stores when they reopened. When eligible, those folks got vaccinated, got boosted and then pretty much resumed their lives without restraint. They no longer routinely wear masks as a precaution, figuring the vaccine, even if not 100% effective, will keep them out of the hospital if they get the virus. They go anywhere that will have them, including packed football stadiums and concert venues.

The last group got vaccinated and boosted too, but those folks still wear their masks pretty much everywhere, partly because they would rather be safe than sorry, partly because they don’t want to get anyone else sick. Still, those folks have resumed many of their routines — they go to church, to their grandchild’s basketball game, to the barbershop and maybe even to the movie theater.

Few Johnstonians we know of remain sequestered in their homes.

All of this is to say that while our elected leaders and their advisers might know what’s best for us, individuals ultimately decide what risks they’re willing to take and what COVID lines they won’t cross. And in Johnston County, folks pretty much made those decisions long before their elected leaders told them it was OK to do so.

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