Treading unknown waters

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We are undergoing a steady but uncertain path in trying to battle COVID-19 with its litany of variants developing. In reality, it is unfair to demand definitive answers from researchers and scientists about a constantly mutating virus in such a short time. It takes time, often years, to study the outcomes of viruses. Even with the quick delivery of vaccines being approved by the FDA and administered to the public, it cannot be verified as a promised fix from the ever changing variants. However, we are desperate and anxious to try to combat this pernicious virus, and we look forward to bringing about some type of normalcy.

In the search for answers, you find some skeptics and politicians literally rebuking and doubting the noted scientists and researchers in their hesitancy to give us undisputed facts in such a short time. It seems you have people who want answers regardless of proven facts to substantiate the claims made. It should realistically be understood that we are exploring unchartered waters in a short time with no definitive answers available.

Noted scientists such as Dr. Anthony Fauci are being denounced because they can’t guarantee us undisputed results. Instead they are outlining suggested general guidelines the nation should follow to combat the virus. Scientists and researchers are not beyond the trial and error approach in concluding the definitive results of containing the virus in the future. We all know that any drug or food to be approved for consumers must undergo a series of tests. They need time to determine proposed drugs effectiveness or drawbacks. Insufficient testing time can prove detrimental to the public. Because of the urgency of saving lives, and containing this menacing virus, the FDA (Food Drug Administration) is making emergency concessions in approving some of these vaccines. It is impossible to note the far reaching effects of these vaccines in such a short time, but we are optimistic in battling the clock to save lives.

Can anyone blame the scientists for not telling us what we want to hear when the answers remain unknown? We must be realistic as well as patient in recognizing we are treading in unknown waters. Whether we like it or not, only time will tell the story. The vaccines being administered will help in the fight against the virus, but there is no guarantee they will be effective against such ever rising new variants. We are in a race to save lives and to reestablish our economy, whatever the cost. But be mindful that the end results remain to be seen.

We should be cognizant of those people ignoring the severity of the virus and demanding everyone go back to work and school, fully opening public venues regardless of the pending consequences. You cannot dismiss the loss of over half a million people and counting due to this unrelenting virus. Maybe some people are skeptics because they have not lost love ones. Maybe they are asymptomatic, or maybe they are just totally unsympathetic to the plight of others if they were to contribute to bringing about unnecessary deaths. Blacks and other minorities (as well as those with pre-existing medical conditions) are at disproportionate risks, so they are emphatically apprehensive about returning to normal practices whatever the cost. Returning to ‘normalcy’ too soon is seen by them as being highly insensitive to the loss of human life.

Life is precious and not a commodity to be taken lightly. It is not hard to understand why many people value life and safety over an economy that is destined to eventually regroup given time, regardless of inconveniences at this time. It is not hard to understand the hesitancy among many people in choosing to take a vaccine when given the history of the government in experimenting with groups such as with the Tuskegee Experiment. But given time, some skeptics will change their minds.

There is no doubt that we are experiencing uncertain and challenging times, but we need to be optimistic and hopeful. We are, for the most part, exercising protocols with potential remedies and attempting to arrest this spiraling pandemic. We may be far from knowing all the answers, but we should appreciate noted scientists and researches not simply telling us what we want to hear.

Naysayers and skeptics will continue to devalue and defame noted scientists and researchers for not giving them the answers they want, but we should appreciate the truth. At this point we just don’t know all the definitive answers and solutions. We are all in this together and should work collectively on what we have found to be the best resolve in tackling this menacing virus. We have the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines available to help combat this hovering menace. The return to some type of normalcy will come in time, but now the priority and urgency is about saving lives.

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