New data and surges in delta variant infections across the country point to the conclusion that COVID-19 is here to stay, and a local public health expert sees this unfortunate reality as a call to action for the Eagle County community to improve its overall health.
“Most of what we see happening across the country is this hope that it’s going to disappear — that this is the last wave or we’re going to have the magic vaccine or magic pill that saves us, and I just want to be very, very clear that I don’t believe that is going to present itself anytime soon,” said Chris Lindley, the chief population health officer for Vail Health who previously worked as the director of Eagle County Public Health and Environment.
The closest thing that we have to a “magic pill” — COVID-19 vaccines — are “extremely effective at preventing serious illness and death,” Lindley said, and he recommended that everyone get vaccinated if they have not already done so. Still, though, the vaccines are not able to deliver us a world free of COVID-19-related concerns as many of us may have hoped, he said.
“We kind of set everybody up for this 200-meter race, 400-meter race,” he said. “If we just get around the corner — next month, next season — we’re going to be fine, but what we have not said is ‘Hey, this isn’t a marathon. This is an ultra-marathon. We’re going to be at it for a long, long, long time so find a pace that’s consistent.”