As of this week, almost 10 million (9,871,930) Californians have contracted the Omicron Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Experts have said the latest fast-spreading variant, BA.5, can replicate itself far more effectively than earlier versions of COVID-19. According to recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting, this Omicron subvariant accounts for 65% of new cases. The rapid rise in cases is a warning that the contagious nature of this current variant warrants even further caution.
The facts are stark and indisputable. Adults who choose not to be vaccinated are five times more likely to be infected, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to be infectious as well. Those fully vaccinated and boosted citizens have the best defense against contracting or spreading the most severe symptoms of COVID-19.
The good news is that, after months of steady increases in COVID cases in Los Angeles, we see the number of infected Californians decrease. We can only hope that the case numbers have plateaued and that the spread of infections will keep dropping as our children head back to school.
Despite this good news, now is not the time to let our guard down. It has been over two years since the first reported COVID-19 case, and on August 23, it will have been one year since the approval of the first vaccine for use in the US. Our communities must get vaccinated and boosted. We should mask up in environments where proof of a negative COVID test or vaccination is not required, and we must continue to prioritize the health and safety of all.
COVID-19 is still a threat, especially in our communities. Reports have shown us that during this most recent wave of COVID-19 patients visiting hospitals and clinics, the vast majority were young Latino and older Black patients. More Black patients are arriving with pre-existing health conditions making their illnesses worse, including heart failure, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Reports have shown us that during this most recent wave of COVID-19 patients visiting hospitals and clinics, the vast majority were young Latino and older Black patients.
We don’t want to go back to when we couldn’t enjoy a simple meal with friends or family at our local eatery or when our children had to resort to distance learning because schools were closed or when we forgot what it was like to see the world beyond our home and neighborhood.
While we must take the time to mourn the loss of our loved ones, we must also do what we can to support those still with us and cherish all that we have gained since then – our resilience, power, and purpose.
We must unite as a community and face this crisis together. The Los Angeles Urban League, the National Urban League, and our other 90+ affiliates are part of an ALL IN campaign against misinformation and outright falsehoods surrounding the impact of COVID-19 and the life-saving effect of the available vaccines. We need to be #allinagainstcovid to save lives and create a healthy, lasting, post-pandemic environment.