Time is of the Essence!

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Jaden Morris, Staff Reporter

Time appears to be one of the most important themes of this season, and for many understandable and difficult reasons. The coronavirus (COVID-19) has not stopped spreading, and scientists and healthcare officials warn that with time, it will only continue to increase and become more of a public health crisis. We have also learned the importance of being mindful of current events. For example, we are told that if our families are not careful and do not engage in preventive measures during the holidays, loved ones may have less time left. Yet with social distancing, curfews, and many other restrictions in place, it seems as if time is all that we have within our hands in the present day. For many people, COVID-19 seems to have truly altered and changed the very seams of our society and has brought about a seemingly contradictory paradox in our everyday lives.  

Since the beginning of the pandemic, most people have simply wanted the days, weeks, and months to pass by so that difficulties will subside. On Nov. 19, time became an even more important issue for the State of Ohio. As a result of the rapidly increasing COVID-19 statistics statewide (most counties remain a level 3), Governor Mike DeWine officially issued a curfew for residents. The curfew, which began Thursday, was implemented to restrict activity from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. The concept will be re-evaluated on Dec. 10. There are even potential legal implications associated with the mandate. Although it is unlikely that individuals will be charged on a widespread scale, violating the order is considered a second-degree misdemeanor (punishable with ninety days in jail and a monetary fine). Grocery stores and pharmacies are among those that are essential and are considered exempt. 

This measure was symbolic of just one of many new steps taken by public officials to attempt to curb the recent spike in cases, locally and nationally. Other states have implemented similar restrictions.  

Also relating to time, a vaccine could be available to high-risk and vulnerable members of the public by the end of December (2020). One leading company, Pfizer (along with BioNTech), which is responsible for one of the first vaccines with the best efficacy rates (95% effective), filed for emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its vaccine on Friday Nov. 20. Other companies may soon follow Pfizer in an effort to bring a stable and consistent vaccine to the public in a timely manner. If granted approval, vaccine distribution could begin almost immediately in some instances. The speed of the race for a vaccine has been categorized by some as almost unprecedented, given the many counterproductive circumstances that have developed since the beginning of the year. 

Adhering to public health guidelines is ultimately the one of the most important tasks that everyday Americans can do at this point, especially in times of significant distress. This holiday season may prove to be strenuous, especially as many attempt to regenerate some extent of normalcy for the upcoming hoilday season.  

As the virus continues to statistically increase and becomes more worrisome for our communities, engaging in efforts to keep our friends and family members safe is essential and paramount to our efforts to preserve a positive and healthy society. We are continuously informed by public health officials that in time, troubles will increase, but also in time, solutions, such as a vaccine, will arrive and hardships will cease. 

Time is an important factor to keep in mind during these difficult times and is absolutely of the essence!