Op/Ed

Editorial: How to help nurses and doctors

ANGELO LYNN

Hang in there, fellow Vermonters. We know we’re in the midst of a COVID surge sparked by the omicron variant that saw a record 116 patients in Vermont hospitals on Tuesday, topping the record of 115 patients set on Sunday. Nurses, doctors and other hospital staff are tired and overwhelmed. It’s tough in the trenches.

The good news is the omicron variant is fleeting. It often drops off as quickly as it escalates. The Vermont Department of Health reported 715 cases statewide on Tuesday, down from 805 on Monday and less than the seven-day average of 1,535 cases per day last week. That, in turn, is down from the peak seven-day average of 1,876 cases on Jan. 9 — marking a roughly 22% decline since then.

Health care officials caution not to read too much into the trend because so many people have the virus that spikes could still occur, but the likelihood is we’re near our peak and headed down.

What’s required now is taking extra care to get on the other side of the current surge. If we all can wear our masks when in public places for another 3-4 weeks, avoid going to larger gatherings for a bit longer, and social distance when required, we’ll get through this together.

There is no doubt Vermonters have the resilience to do this and most will gladly embrace that challenge. They know that taking extra precautions for the next couple of weeks isn’t about restricting their rights, but rather it’s about helping their friends and neighbors in health care — all of whom are working frantically to take care of those most in need. We help them most by staying as healthy as possible.

Angelo Lynn

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