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Scott Loftis

From the Editor

Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com

Opinion

Personal responsibility

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Iíve been battling sinus issues for two weeks now. Iíll spare you the details that Iím sure you can imagine except to say that one of my symptoms is a productive cough.

Iíve been able to handle the situation with over-the-counter medication, but one of the side effects of that is that Iíve felt extra tired and lazy ó so much so that I took the day off last Wednesday. Wednesdays are typically slow days in the newsroom, and I slept a little later that morning than I intended to, so I just took the day off and got some extra rest.

Later that day, my boss texted to suggest I get a COVID test, just to be safe. My initial reaction was: No, I donít have COVID. I had been fully vaccinated in March and although I had eased up on some of my precautions, I was confident I wasnít infected. When I called to inquire about a PCR test and was told it could take up to a week to get the results, I was even less inclined to get tested.

The more I thought about it, however, the more I realized I was being a hypocrite. Throughout the pandemic, Iíve urged everyone to be cautious. And Iíve probably said a thousand times: ďYou can have COVID-19 without knowing you have it, and you can spread it to someone else who could potentially die from it.Ē

As I said, I was very confident that I didnít have the virus. That confidence stemmed from my faith in the vaccine, but I also realize that while the vaccine can prevent me from getting COVID-19, its real power is its ability to reduce the severity of an infection.

So, I checked around and found a local clinic offering rapid testing. It cost me $100 and the test itself is not pleasant. I hear anecdotally that the rapid test is less uncomfortable than the PCR test. If thatís the case, I want no part of a PCR test. Iím sure the nurse who swabbed my nose is probably still chuckling to herself about the grown man moaning and groaning over what amounts to a Q-tip in the nose. Maybe it hurt more than usual because my sinuses were already extra sensitive? Letís go with that.

The nurse administered the rapid test as I sat in my car. After the test, I stayed in the car with the air conditioner running and read a newspaper for about 20 minutes before she returned to tell me my test was negative.

Iím feeling better today, although Iím still not quite over what Iím calling ďthe crud.Ē

I urge everyone to get the vaccine. It could save your life. And if youíre experiencing COVID-like symptoms, go get tested. Itís not fun, but it could save someone elseís life.

ďPersonal responsibilityĒ is a rallying cry of sorts for folks of a certain political inclination. When we all pay attention to our personal responsibility to do everything we can to prevent this deadly virus from spreading, then maybe we can truly get back to normal.