What is it that our parents told us when growing up in Casper and suffering the indignities and embarrassment of verbal slights from fellow classmates? The same advice applies to the COVID-19 pandemic: “This Too Shall Pass.” The newspapers and 24-hour cable TV news are full of COVID-19 data points and curves; unless you took trigonometry in high school, they are impossible to understand. There are leading indicators and trailing indicators, curves for new infections, curves for hospitalizations, curves for deaths and rounding curves for 7-day averages of life and death, even curves for days a patient is on ventilators that predict if they will survive COVID-19.
Last update Wyoming is at 947 confirmed infections and counting (as of this writing), it is growing. But is it exponential or logarithmic growth? Does it really matter? COVID-19 is just another bump in the road that needs to be overcome by medical technology and humankind’s common sense; the sky may be sagging but it is not falling.
I am in the 7th decade of my life “risk” and grew up in Casper. I remember the polio scare in the early '50s before Salk developed the vaccine, you weren’t allowed to go outside and play. Later in the mid-50s I lived off Missouri Circle and neighbors caught and died from pneumonia. Then came knocking the Asiatic flu in the '60s, and in between were the mumps and measles parties where your mother would take you to someone’s house that had the infection so you could get the illness in the summer and not miss school. Nowadays that would probably be considered child abuse.
From the middle of the 20th century into the early 21st century it has been a history of viral and bacterial illness and then came Man’s created terrors; the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, and the duck-and-cover drills at Pineview Elementary. It is pick your poison that you want to worry about dying from.
No I don’t fear the COVID-19 but I do respect it, and I do take precautions to ensure that I don’t catch it. But, I am not going to live my life fearing that I may catch a virus and die.
JAMES SHERRARD, Casper
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