By Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans
As we approach the holiday season, it would be nice if we could all relax and look forward to spending this time with our friends and families without the burden of worry that we all experienced last year when the fear of COVID kept many of us apart. But it now appears COVID-19 is just as much of a threat today as it was at this time in 2020, and that makes no sense whatsoever. We had the power to put the brakes on this pandemic, but instead too many of us – due to a preference for misinformation, a lingering mistrust of science, twisted political motives or worse – are extending a prolonged welcome to this virus that should have been withdrawn long ago.
Michigan is now reported to be the worst COVID-19 hotspot in the nation. The number of patients being admitted to our hospitals has increased by 50% in just one month, and is still climbing. Wayne County has a slightly higher percentage of fully vaccinated individuals than the rest of the state, but not enough to stem the tide of COVID infected patients that is beginning to once again overwhelm our health care providers. Here are some more relevant facts that we should all be mindful of:
- In Out-Wayne County, there has been a 74% increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the last two weeks.
- Locally, we are at a striking positivity rate of 13.7%, which places us in the high risk category. Statewide is even higher at 16.4%. It should be noted that the CDC considers “High-Risk” to be greater than 10%.
- Only 53% of our population ages 12-29 are fully vaccinated.
- Now that residents age 5 and older can get vaccinated, we have the ability to protect even more of our loved ones.
Last spring, as the vaccine began to be made available for free to anyone who wanted it, most of us felt relieved because we thought for sure we would not be in this position again. Because surely everyone would line up to take the vaccine, not only for themselves but for the sake of their families, loved ones, neighbors and co-workers.
Today it is a little more than half a year later, and we find that the vast majority of those being admitted, close to 75%, remain unvaccinated despite all the scientific evidence not only of the vaccine’s safety but of its necessity in combating this virus. That is simply unacceptable, and yet there isn’t much that can be done if so many Michigan residents persist in their refusal to simply mask up and take the vaccine. Ignoring the science is not a badge of honor.
This is a strangely perverse and dangerous state of affairs we find ourselves living through, and unless we work together to pay attention and accept the severe reality of our current situation, it is hard to see how we will be able to turn this pandemic around and return to what we once knew as normal anytime soon.
This is not the category where we want to be leading the nation.
For vaccination locations visit https://www.waynecounty.com/covid19/vaccination.aspx or call 1-866-610-3885.