There is an extensive list of issues that have divided the country in views, from politics to football and so much more; however, it is unexpected to see the validity and existence of a pandemic virus being questioned by an overwhelming number of people.
A virus of such impact with 85 million cases and almost two million deaths worldwide does not seem like something one would doubt. And yet, here in the United States, where the number of COVID-19 deaths has surpassed the 400,000 mark, we still hear people claiming the pandemic is not that serious or even that it is a hoax.
Surprisingly, beyond the “flu-like” symptoms and a loss of taste, most people are not familiar with COVID-19 symptoms, which include confusion, extreme exhaustion, difficulty waking up, inflammation of the lungs, and coughing up blood.
With the constant and wide-spread media attention on COVID-19, it begs the question, “Why are so many Americans ignorant of COVID-19, its symptoms, how it is transmitted, how it affects people differently, and its long-term effects.
A common defense for those unbothered by the deadly pandemic is that the confirmed case-to-death ratio gap is quite large. For some reason, many Americans feel that the 16.6 percent of their fellow countrymen who contract COVID-19 dying is not a very significant number.
Another factor is that people can have COVID-19 without even realizing it. Those people appear to be healthy but can be unknowingly spreading the virus to others, especially those with compromised immune systems putting them at risk of death.
And, now, just as the vaccines are being rolled out, a new variant of COVID-19 has been discovered. This new strand hit the UK recently, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson says it is 50 to 70 percent more transmissible. The new variant has also raised its ugly head in some parts of the United States.
It can only be hoped that with this new threat of COVID-19 precautions being extended well into the summer of 2021, more Americans will inform themselves of the reality of the situation and take the necessary safety precautions of wearing a mask and social distancing.