By: Travis Naughton

For the last two years social distancing measures, quarantines, and stay-at-home orders have helped prevent emergency rooms and hospital wards from becoming overrun with Covid-positive patients, saving countless lives. Yet in that time, one million Americans have died from coronavirus-related illnesses. As hard as it is to imagine, the death toll would have been much, much higher had we not taken the steps we did. I have supported mask mandates, vaccination requirements, and social distancing efforts throughout the pandemic, but now that most Americans have either been vaccinated or infected with the coronavirus, the likelihood of a surge in new infections that will strain the medical system has become drastically lower. Therefore, I believe it is time to think about how we will proceed from here. With the threat to our physical health greatly diminished, we need to address the damage the virus has caused to our emotional wellbeing. America is currently battling an unprecedented mental health crisis as a result of the prolonged isolation from loved-ones, the cancelation of gatherings and celebrations, and the constant fear of death. Though the mitigation measures were necessary and the right thing to do, they were never intended to be permanent. Merely avoiding death is not the same as living life.

See more in this weeks Boone County Journal

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