We rang in 2022 with a drink in the back yard with five neighbors, followed by the three of us in our household working on a jigsaw puzzle. We haven't celebrated New Year's Eve in a big way since long before the pandemic arrived, but with Covid-19 our options were quite limited. We are choosing to try and remain safe from the virus.
Covid continues to be the story of the day. Omicron is now the most prevalent variant being seen among the new cases in the US. Omicron seems to be affecting the vaccinated as well as the unvaccinated, though vaccinated people tend to have milder symptoms and usually don't end up in the hospital unless they have underlying health conditions.
On December 31, 2021 North Carolina had its largest recording of new cases in one day reported - 19,174. It is difficult to find a place where you can get tested, and even harder to find the at-home tests that can be taken. Our state is not alone in seeing skyrocketing numbers. Here is where things stand: North Carolina has had 1.69 million cases and 19,436 deaths. In the United States there have been 54.9 million cases and 824,000 deaths. Worldwide there have been over 289 million cases and 5.4 million deaths.
North Carolina has only achieved a 57% full vaccination rate, close to the the United States rate of 58.3%. Worldwide that number is only 48%. Despite the huge rise in cases, governments seem reluctant to reimpose restrictions to limit exposure, such as banning large events, limiting indoor numbers in restaurants and other public spaces, and reinstating mask mandates.
Normally as we begin a new year we sit down and plan out what activities we want to do in the upcoming year. Covid has been around for over two years now, and there is no end in sight. We are not making plans, and instead are taking a wait and see attitude. It's a delicate balance in trying to live our lives while being safe and still having a life to live.
|blue heron on Mountain Island Lake December 31, 2021|