#CovidIsNotOver Trends over concerns about Covid-19 complacency, over-relaxation of precautions
#CovidIsNotOver Trends over concerns about Covid-19 complacency, over-relaxation of precautions

#CovidIsNotOver Trends over concerns about Covid-19 complacency, over-relaxation of precautions

As baseball Hall-of-Famer Yogi Berra once said, “It’s not over until it’s over.” And recently, the hashtag #CovidIsNotOver has been trending on Twitter to remind everyone that the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic is definitely not over.

The United States has still averaged over 29,000 Covid-19-related admissions and over 1,100 deaths per day over the past 14 days, based data from New York Times. Actually, which I covered for Forbes on March 12Several countries in Europe have experienced recovery in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations over the last few weeks, increasing the possibility of another impending Covid-19 increase in not only Europe but also other countries such as the United States.

So why might a #CovidIsNotOver reminder be needed? After all, no major legitimate public health or other relevant scientific organization has officially declared the pandemic over. And typically, people do not need reminders that they are still in the middle of an emergency, such as “hey, did you know you’re still burning?”

Unfortunately, some politicians, TV personalities, and anonymous social media accounts have kept pushing the narrative that the pandemic is somehow over. This has happened pretty much throughout the pandemic. For example, here’s what Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) tweeted back on December 2, 2022:

If you remember, December 2, 2022 was before the peak of the recent Covid-19 winter hike. In fact, when Jordan posted that the “Real America is done # COVID19” statement, Covid-19 cases were already in recovery. It is not clear who exactly Jordan was referring to when he used the term “Real America.” Either way, maybe he should have taken a look at the real data and checked with some real scientists before coming up with a statement that ended up being premature.

All this talk about “Covid is done” has created a seemingly huge gap between those who have reality in mind and those who have not. Such a gap could have been fine if taking Covid-19 precautions was merely a “personal choice.” But it’s not like choosing to wear butt-enhancing underwear where your choices in theory do not affect those around you. In fact, each person’s individual actions may again affect everyone’s risk of becoming infected with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

This is why a number of people have used the hashtag #CovidIsNotOver to express concerns about what may be premature relaxation of Covid-19 precautions such as face mask indoors. For example, here’s what Nili Kaplan-Myrth, MD, PhD, a family physician in Ottawa, Canada, and hosts Rx Advocacy podcast, tweeted:

And @MeetJess may have referred to earlier premature easing that took place in 2021 with this tweet:

Others complained about getting peer pressure does not take Covid-19 precautions that may be reminiscent of high school. For example, when @ tamalama67 apparently declined a lunch invitation, a friend responded by asking when @ tamalama67 will “start living life again”:

Taking Covid-19 precautions does not necessarily mean you can not go to a restaurant. But if the restaurant is indoors and people are not complying with its precautions there, then you can see why anyone might be hesitant to accept such an invitation.

A clear distinction is between those who continue to wear face masks in indoor public places and those who are not. Our joint PHICOR and National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine team study recently published in The Lancet Public Health showed both costs, hospitalizations, and deaths that could be averted if face masks were maintained until higher levels of Covid-19 vaccination were reached. In addition, various people on Twitter used #CovidIsNotOver to highlight the benefits of continuing to use face masks:

In fact, some have expressed concern about being stigmatized when trying to continue wearing face masks:

And now that many organizations are returning to personal meetings, there are questions as to whether such meetings will maintain an appropriate level of precaution:

Others have used the hashtag to point out what has happened in other countries that have maintained higher levels of Covid-19 precautions such as Spain:

Some stressed that using a face mask does not mean that you can not resume most common activities such as @thedivine_mrs_s:

And @kellsley:

Throughout the pandemic, a number of countries have undergone this premature relaxation followed by the Covid-19 rise and then the Covid-19 precautionary reinstatement cycle. Abdu Sharkawy, MD, an infectious disease doctor at the University of Toronto, warned not to learn from recent history:

In fact, the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic will not be over until it is actually over. This is not a thought about case situation. Political agendas will not, so to speak, trump science and nature. So the continuing question is whether this latest round of easing of Covid-19 precautions, in Berra’s words, will be like déjà vu again?

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