Editorial Roundup: Indiana

 
 
Updated 1/4/2022 2:00 PM

KPC News. Jan. 2, 2022.

Editorial: Omicron and you

 

State health officials sounded a rather pessimistic forecast Wednesday about the near future in regards to Indiana's COVID-19 situation.

Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kris Box called the outlook 'very bleak,' adding later 'This situation will get worse before it improves.'

Box sounded that note primarily because she's looking forward at the omicron variant of COVID-19 and noting what has happened when that variant emerged and took root in other places.

Omicron is in Indiana and the expectation is that it's going to take its turn to circulate as the delta variant did when it showed up in July.

Indiana, which is still being afflicted heavily by the dominant delta strain, is not in a great position at the moment to see a new variant making its own waves. Cases remain around 4,500 per day, while hospitalization numbers for COVID-19 are near record highs.

Adding omicron on top of that is not a situation health officials want to see the state in as 2022 gets underway.

But what do you need to know and what can you do to help?

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' Omicron is highly, highly contagious. Like the delta variant, which proved to be significantly more infectious than the original strain of COVID-19 from 2020, omicron can be spread very easily. Because it replicates so quickly, asymptomatic and even vaccinated people can and likely will spread it.

' Omicron does not appear to be more dangerous and may even be less so. Early studies suggest that omicron doesn't present any greater risk of hospitalization or death than the delta variant and may even be milder despite its high transmission, so that's a positive development.

' Omicron may usurp delta as the COVID-19 king. Some early studies that the mutations present in omicron may actually leave an immunity that protects well against the delta variant, which would help squeeze out that strain long-term. The effect doesn't appear to work the other way though - people who had delta don't appear to get any major advantage against omicron.

' The verdict about vaccine efficacy is still out, but health officials continue to recommend people get vaccinated and boosted as its going to provide the best chance of preventing not just omicron but other strains too. From delta, we know that unvaccinated individuals remain the most at risk, with more than 80% of people ending up hospitalized being those who haven't had shots.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

' Some therapeutic treatments won't work against omicron. Box noted that two monoclonal antibody treatments - which can be given to people early in an infection and can slash the odds of hospitalization or death - are known to not be effective against omicron, which removes a tool to help protect lives of people who do get infected.

' Drugs to help treat COVID-19 infection are in extremely limited supply. It's good that doctors have more medicines to help patients sick with COVID, but there simply aren't enough to go around right now. One message that was clear Wednesday was people shouldn't rely on being rescued by a therapeutic if they get sick with COVID, because one may not be available or may be reserved from someone who clinicians judge needs it more than you.

As has been the case since day one, the best defense against an illness is not getting it all. Prevention remains the best and safest option.

Vaccines remain the best, proven option to prevent COVID-19 and/or reduce the severity of the disease if you do suffer a breakthrough case.

Masking up can help reduce transmission from a fast-replicating strain that most anyone can spread even without knowing.

Staying home when you're sick, canceling gatherings if people are ill, washing hands, sanitizing and all of those other things you've heard for nearly two years now still apply.

Stopping transmission of COVID-19 is proving to be very difficult, which makes the next best thing people can do for themselves and others is to aim to mitigate its impact as much as possible.

Two years in, Indiana and northeast Indiana in particular is not doing a great job of that as proven by the high cases, hospitalizations and death counts still being seen.

Don't let omicron get the advantage in 2022.

Do your part to mitigate its impact now.

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The (Fort Wayne) Journal Gazette. Jan. 1, 2022.

Editorial: Headlines we'd like to see in 2022

With thanks to readers Ryan Stoneburner, David Sowards, Camille Garrison, Lois Levihn, Donna Haywood and Mark Racine.

Red Cross blood banks full

Hiring records set, unemployment down

Wealthy agree to pay their fair share of taxes

Purdue (or IU) wins NCAA Championship

More people living happier, more productive lives

New treatments for cancer, heart disease

Fort Wayne named cleanest city in nation

Volunteers turn out in droves to help

Chuck and Lisa Surack reopen Roller Dome South

COVID expunged

100% vaccinated

Santa Claus lights receive national award

Passenger rail service starts in Fort Wayne

National pickleball tourney in Fort Wayne

City homicides down 50%

Downtown Fort Wayne to get grocery store

Clinton, Maplecrest extension ends

3 people clocked going speed limit on 469

___

Terre Haute Tribune-Star. Dec. 31, 2021.

Editorial: Help wanted: Good citizens

As we bid 2021 farewell, it's not easy to generate much fondness for the year gone by. Perhaps the best thing about 2021 at this moment is that is finally ending.

Yet to be fair, it hasn't been all bad. The amazing and highly effective COVID-19 vaccine gave protection and peace of mind to those who have obtained it. Unfortunately, too many people have not. And that is the primary reason the pandemic lives on to bring sickness and grief to those it infects.

Normalcy will elude us as long as there are those who shirk their responsibility.

America needs the help of its citizens. Recovery for our communities is something to which we all must be committed. Good citizenship is essential, now more than ever.

It has become customary in this space as a new year dawns to offer a litany of thoughts for the coming year with the emphasis on promoting an increased level of citizenship.

A version of this editorial first appeared in 2014 and we've adapted it to apply again this year. The message is timeless, although it carries increased urgency in these times. As we greet 2022, we offer these suggestions for making yourself a better citizen.

III

As the calendar turns, resolutions for self-improvement are top-of-mind. Lose weight. Exercise. Eat healthy. Stop smoking. Think positive. Laugh more. Worry less. Etc., etc.

Mostly, they're personal goals, and good ones at that.

We'd like to add another for your consideration: Become a better citizen.

How does one do that? It's easier than you think. You probably do it all the time, yet don't think of it in terms of being a good citizen. But there may be more you can do that requires only that you engage in your community in a greater variety of ways, each of which contributes to enhanced quality of civic life for all.

We offer the following resolutions from which to choose. Try a few.

' Donate blood.

' Get the COVID-19 vaccine. It's free and easy accessible. If you're already vaccinated, lovingly urge those around you who resist it to reconsider, for their sake and for those around them.

' Drive safely, with an emphasis on construction zones.

' Attend a festival (as long as they are not suspended because of COVID-19 concerns). They contribute greatly to a community's sense of place, pride and self-worth. And we're going to need a lot of that to recover from the pandemic's strain on communities.

' Volunteer. Plenty of good causes need your help.

' Make a contribution to a local charity, and not just during the holidays.

' Read your newspaper. Better yet, subscribe to your newspaper. Yes, we know this sounds self-serving, but let us explain. One key way to be more aware, involved and informed is to know what's going on in your community and to apply this knowledge to your civic life. The best way to get that kind of knowledge is by reading a newspaper, which is widely believed to be the main source of vital information about government, business and public and private institutions that make up the foundation of every community.

' Use your local parks. They are beautiful places.

' Support community-based businesses. They need you. You need them. Now more than ever. The pandemic has been hard on them.

' Take advantage of cultural opportunities, which have become more abundant again. Visit a museum. Attend a theatrical performance, a concert or the symphony. Venture onto a college campus for something other than a sporting event.

' Be a good neighbor. Mend fences. Build bridges. And, no, we don't mean the structural kind.

' Embrace the community's diversity. Scrutinize biases or prejudices you may hold toward others concerning politics, religion, race, age, gender or sexual orientation.

' Thank a veteran. When the opportunity arises, attend an event that salutes those who have served in the armed forces.

' Tell public safety officials and first responders how much you appreciate the jobs they do and the risks they take to make our communities safe and secure.

' Express gratitude to all those front-line workers - doctors, nurses, health professionals of all kinds - who continue to give so much of themselves to help their communities through these difficult times.

' Be kind to the animals. Adopt a pet from the shelter. Be a responsible pet owner.

' Respect the environment. Don't litter. Take care of community resources. Recycle. Educate yourself about ways to help make your community more sustainable.

' Speak well of your community. Proud of where you live? Tell people about it.

III

Happy New Year! May 2022 be the best year yet for you, your family and the community in which you live.

END

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