12 JULY 1, 2021 RIDGEWOOD TIMES WWW.QNS.COM
Our emergency exit
New York’s COVID-19 state of
emergency is fi nally over as of
June 24, about 16 months aft er
Governor Andrew Cuomo declared
it in the nascent stages of the Empire
State’s health crisis.
The declaration came with a host
of regulations that mandated facial
coverings, restricted public capacities,
closed businesses and mainly
kept people away from each other for
fear of being exposed to a fatal contagion.
To describe the last 16 months as
long and diffi cult would be a massive
understatement, but at long last, we
fi nally have reached the other side.
Make no mistake, COVID-19 remains
a threat to public health even
with more than 70 percent of state
residents having received at least the
fi rst dose of the vaccine, and more
than half of people fully vaccinated.
Millions remain vulnerable to the
virus and its potentially catastrophic
side eff ects.
Variants of COVID-19 remain
a major threat, too, as Cuomo reminded
New Yorkers during a press
THE HOT TOPIC
Construction underway on boroughbased
jail in Kew Gardens
The city is moving ahead with its controversial
borough-based prison in
Kew Gardens. The mayor announced
that construction is underway for the
parking garage and community space
alongside the new jail.
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While New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency is fi nally over, it is still important to get vaccinated with the
threat of the disease still out there. Photo via Getty Images
conference last week. The delta variant
is set to become the dominant
virus strain in America; the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
said it is much more contagious and
potent than “classic COVID-19.”
Getting vaccinated can help people
avoid infection from just about any
COVID-19 strain to date, including the
delta variant, as studies have shown.
Yet avoiding the vaccine leaves one at
risk of getting the virus and exposing
many others to it. If enough people
aren’t vaccinated, that will create yet
another health crisis.
It also opens the door for COVID-19
to continue mutating; it is a living
organism, aft er all, that adapts to its
surroundings in order to survive. The
day may come when the virus mutates
to the point where it becomes resistant
to the vaccine — and then we’re back to
that dark, vulnerable place in March
2020 when everyone was suddenly at
risk, and the city began closing down.
No one wants to go back to that.
Much like mask-wearing and social
distancing were at the height of the
COVID-19 pandemic, getting vaccinated
is a matter of public health. It’s
a mutual responsibility we all should
share to ensure that this virus is
stopped, and that normal life can
continue to function.
As unpleasant as getting stuck in the
arm and feeling a brief fever or chill
might be, it’s still a far more palatable
option than shutdowns and being
deathly ill in an isolated hospital bed.