Courtesy of Reuters

The Pandemic Papers: Volume 1

Welcome to the Viking Times’ newest column, the Pandemic Papers. Your host, Piper Florio, will bring you up to speed on the latest news concerning vaccines, local cases, international affairs and everything in between involving COVID-19.

First on the docket is a rather sad story. According to the John Hopkins university (abbreviated as JHU), the global number of deaths directly related to COVID-19 has surpassed five million. CNN reports that the European country of Romania is experiencing a record breaking spike in cases, and with a case spike comes casualties. JHU keeps a running tally of COVID-19 cases and deaths. At 4:50 AM this Monday, the count reached 5,000,425. As for cases over all, the count has recently surpassed 246 million cases since December of 2019.

Don’t bother with sparklers and champagne bottles, because this anniversary is a grim one. This January 11, it will have been two years since the first official death from COVID-19 was reported. This December, the disease will have been known to man for two years. Can you believe that? Two whole years since this debacle got underway. I’m compelled to be objective with my wording, but I feel conflicted. I simply cannot believe the pandemic has gone on this long. Two years is a seventh of my life, I will have spent a seventh of my life in masks and rubber gloves. How… enlightening.

In other news, we have a bit of hope. With the vaccine rollout well underway and the world at large getting its jab in the arm, nations across the globe are opening up again. Australia has opened its borders to international travel for the first time in 20 months by order of Prime Minister Scott Morrison. South Korea is the latest in the line of countries easing restrictions. No surprise, considering that approximately 75% of South Koreans have been adequately vaccinated. But America is getting her head in the game as well. Our government has been designing a program to vaccinate children from ages 5 to 11 with the Pfizer shot, which is already being implemented. 

To make several long stories short… This country and the world at large still have a long way to go, but the light at the end of the tunnel is only getting brighter. Remember to wear a mask when around people, wash your hands frequently, get tested if you experience symptoms and above all, get vaccinated.

I’m Piper Florio, reporting for the Viking Times.

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