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WTVM Editorial 3-26-21: Good news on COVID-19

Updated: Mar. 26, 2021 at 2:54 PM EDT
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(WTVM) - After more than a year of lockdowns, masks and social distancing, there is finally good news to report on recent COVID-19 trends, and we can all use a bit of good news.

In the two states we serve, Alabama and Georgia, those statistics are looking very good right now.

For perspective, in Alabama, 45,000 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 at the peak of infections in mid-January. Now that number is below 500.

The trend is similar in Georgia, with nearly 58,000 hospitalized with the virus in mid-January, that number is now just over 2,000.

Across the country, the number of new infections has dropped consistently over the past nine weeks and deaths from COVID-19 are the lowest now since mid-November.

Vaccinations now protect more than 22% of Americans and growing every day.

Columbus was lucky enough to be chosen as one of only five mass vaccination sites in Georgia and our reporting shows it’s been a well run, well organized way to vaccinate the most people possible.

Meanwhile, national COVID-19 expert Dr. Anthony Fauci stirred up controversy by recently appearing before Congress wearing two masks, even though he had been vaccinated. Senator Rand Paul accused Dr. Fauci of overreacting, since he has been vaccinated, but the doctor stressed there can still be variants of the virus that might be transmissible.

This kind of push and pull of opinions on how to live with the virus even after vaccination shows there is still plenty of division on the issue.

That’s unfortunate because the vaccine has proven to be extremely effective and with infection numbers dropping, we can expect to see more normalcy as spring turns into summer.

That’s good news for everyone. Does it mean we can finally abandon the masks and social distancing? Now with mask mandates slowly being lifted, that’s a matter of personal choice.

In public settings, wearing a mask can still be a simple courtesy. Wearing or not wearing a mask doesn’t have to be a political statement.

We feel the good news needs to be reported and recognized so we can all feel there really is light at the end of a very difficult year.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings an editorial a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to hsteuart@wtvm.com or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee

1909 Wynnton Road

Columbus, GA 31906

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