Open ICU Beds in AZ at their Lowest Since Beginning of Pandemic; It’s Not Too Late for Common Sense Though

By Alexander Lomax

Photo Credit: Arizona Mirror

So you’re over Covid? Same here. I’m pretty confident that the only thing that isn’t sick of Covid yet is the virus itself, which seems to be reinventing itself down the Greek alphabet. We segued smoothly from Delta to Omicron, and while the deadliness of this particular strain seems to be lesser than the last, the cheerful wishes of a Covid Zero World are now purely fantasy.

Quite the opposite: here in Arizona, ICU beds are now at their lowest capacity since the beginning of the pandemic. Yes, there are now fewer ICU beds than the initial scares, the lack of toilet paper, and during the huge spikes of last winter. We are now worse off at this time than any of those times.

Meanwhile, depending on where in the Valley you live, reactions range from Mehhh to Huh? Life has gone on, and the people of Arizona seem to be unphased and unbothered. Events go on unchanged, masks are relatively rare even in enclosed spaces, and there is not a bit of concern. We’re almost back to completely normal, except for the one way that really matters: that pesky pandemic that is killing people and clogging our hospitals with illness.

I get it: Covid fatigue is real. We’re all sick of it. And while we don’t need to wrap ourselves in plastic and stay home 24/7, this is a good test of our common sense.

For instance: I can certainly understand the concerns of a brand new vaccine and the lack of data regarding side effects. But we now have millions and millions of data points, and we can now say with full statistical significance that the potential side effects are so much less than the impacts of Covid that it should be a no-brainer. And yet only 56% of Arizonans are fully vaccinated. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 vaccinations have proven the recent complaints of many, that literally everything is politicized these days.

“But Alex, we don’t know the long-term effects of this vaccine!” Not this one, that is correct, but mRNA-based vaccines are nothing new, and we have plenty of data on potential long-term impacts from the same technology in other inoculations. And we know that in that regard, they’re safe.

You want common sense, Arizona? When you’re in the midst of a public health crisis, when ICU beds are in critically short storage, and you’re not vaccinated? Ask your primary care physician if he or she thinks you should get vaccinated, and then listen to them. Don’t listen to Facebook, don’t listen to YouTube, but go talk to the medical professional that you trusted before the pandemic, and take their advice.

It really is that simple. But as the saying goes, common sense isn’t that common.