The past few days I have repeatedly heard people refer to the coronavirus epidemic as the “middle of the pandemic.” I am constantly hearing news outlets, people in conversations, speakers, etc., refer to it as the middle. It literally sends chills up my spine to hear this said out loud. Each time I hear this phrase uttered, my stomach drops. Please, oh please, tell me, that after almost a year of this…we aren’t still in the “middle.”
The middle means we have as much to go as we have already finished. Middle means we have gone half-way through and have half-way more to go. Middle means we are straight center on a continuum. The word “middle” is defined as “the point or position at an equal distance from the sides, edges, or ends, of something; the point at or around the center of the process or activity, period of time, etc.”
Middle indicates there is about another year of these skyrocketing numbers, over-worked medical providers, mask wearing and yes, deaths. The past ten months have been so stressful; I actually saw a tweet that read, “The news is so stressful, I turned on a serial killer documentary to relax.”
I don’t want to hear “middle of the pandemic.” I want to hear more about the light at the end of the tunnel, dropping positivity rates, increasing recovery rates, no more deaths, less anxiety, less stressed medical professionals and rising hope as more people receive the vaccine. I want to believe, as Counting Crows so aptly sang it in the 1990s, “It’s been a long December, but I have reason to believe that this year will be better than the last.”
I know that when all of the shut-downs started last March 13 (on a Friday no less), none of us would have ever believed we would be where we are today. I remember a physician friend telling me a couple of years ago that we were due a pandemic, as they typically roll around every one hundred years (i.e. the Spanish Flu: 1918-1920). I remember mulling over the comment in my brain and praying the cycle would not repeat itself.
Unfortunately, of course, it has. I am just really hoping we are at the “end of the pandemic,” not the middle, certainly not the beginning, but near the end. If all of this craziness has you feeling out of sorts, just remember, there are constants you can count on in this world to give you a sense of stability. They include:
- 1. God is still God.
- 2. Nick Saban is still winning national championship games.
- 3. Tom Brady’s team is in the playoffs.
- 4. The weather on the Plateau is still ever-changing.
- 5. Kids will always want snow days.
- 6. People still help other people.
The vaccines, although still in short supply, are increasing little by little. The Cumberland County Health Department is currently administering them by appointment only to those 75 and older and those in groups 1a1 and 1a2. You can visit the state’s portal and answer a few questions to determine your COVID vaccine eligibility. You may find it at https://covid19.tn.gov/covid-19-vaccines. As the weeks go on and more vaccines become available, additional demographics will become eligible for the shots. The CCHD has opened a local information line. That number is 931-707-9007. It is available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and this means schools will be out and government offices will be closed in honor of the national holiday.