Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

By Las Vegas Optic
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Pandemic should still be treated with concern


March 23, 2022

Almost exactly two years after the entire world shut down due to the initial threat of COVID-19, the state of New Mexico’s Department of Health has made it clear it no longer views it as a priority.

Recently, acting Health Secretary David Scrase told the media that the staff that has been tasked with compiling daily COVID-19 data will be reassigned to their previous responsibilities, and COVID-19 updates will be provided by an automated system.

Daily numbers will no longer be broken down county-by-county. Instead, that will be part of a larger weekly update, again done by the automated system.

For two years, there have been 80 man hours daily committed to keeping the public as informed as possible on how COVID-19 is spreading and impacting each county in the state. Now, we will rely on computers to give us a general idea of how we are coping with the disease, which continues to contribute to the deaths of dozens of New Mexicans each week.

Yes, currently there are no restrictions in place related to the pandemic. Masks came off weeks ago and numbers seem to have stabilized from the Omicron surge that sent numbers skyrocketing to levels we had not seen before.

But we have gone through periods like this before.

Last summer, we had a time when things seemed to be behind us. And then another surge occurred.

That’s just the way this virus works. Sometimes things will be good and sometimes things will be bad.

The good times don’t mean the threat is over.

For most young, healthy people, it may not be a big threat anymore. But we are sure that for the older generations, the disabled in the community, those that have underlying conditions, these sentiments are of little comfort.

The state is focusing its attention on the upcoming elections and getting the state back to where it was three years ago.

Some people have to focus on the pandemic still, but it won’t be the government.

Scrase said the Department of Health has to focus on things besides COVID-19, and we agree. But that doesn’t mean COVID-19 has disappeared. We don’t control when the pandemic ends.

— Las Vegas Optic


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