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CDC Director Feels “Impending Doom” in Premature Attempts to Move Past the Pandemic

Dr. Rochelle Walensky CDC

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the CDC Director who came on board two months ago, warned of a feeling of “impending doom” that is worrisome. During a Monday briefing about COVID-19, she gave us the news that we didn’t want to hear but that we so desperately need to pay attention to if we hope to move past this pandemic.

“I’m going to lose the script, and I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom.”

When someone says that, when someone decides to lose the script and speak honestly while giving the news, that’s when you stop and you pay attention. And that’s exactly what I did when Dr. Walensky started speaking. Because what she’s telling us isn’t coming from a place where she wants us to panic. No, there’s no use in panicking. It comes as a warning and a reminder that despite the way things are looking with more people vaccinated every day, there’s more work to be done.

Dr. Walensky also got slightly emotional when talking about the conditions that physicians are dealing with right now when it comes to COVID-19. She’s been in the position where she was the last one to hold someone’s dying hand because their family couldn’t be there in the room with them. She’s experienced the worry of how many ventilators are available and if it’s going to be enough for everyone that needs one. And she knows what it feels like to pull up to your hospital and see the extra morgue set up outside for COVID-19 related deaths.

That worry, that comes from experience, gives credence to her words and shows us that it’s not time to ease up on regulations and act like everything is ok. It’s not okay. We are on the precipice of something dangerous and deadly, and people are giving up the fight prematurely.

“I’m speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, and not only as your CDC director but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer. I so badly want to be done, I know you all so badly want to be done. We’re just almost there, but not quite yet. And so I’m asking you to just hold on a little longer to get vaccinated when you can so that all of those people that we all love will still be here when this pandemic ends.”

Dr. Walensky has been warning us for weeks about new infection rates and how she fears that there will be a surge in the U.S. And according to the CDC, cases of the virus are up about 10% week over week, with daily infections totaling about 60,000 per day nationwide. According to Dr. Walensky, these trends are similar to the resurgences we’ve been seeing across Europe. Italy, Germany, and France were just like us a couple of weeks ago. And since then, they’ve seen a worrying amount of new cases.

She went on to plead to our elected officials, our faith-based communities, our civic leaders, and other influencers to “sound the alarm.” It’s not time to back down. Instead, it’s time to bring this honest message into our communities as a means of saving those we love and care about. Because “we do not have the luxury” to act like nothing is happening or that our people aren’t suffering due to COVID-19.

This is how we prevent the fourth surge of COVID-19 cases in the United States and how we save lives across the nation.

(image: NBC News)

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Lyra (She/Her) is a queer Latinx writer who stans badass women in movies, TV shows, and books. She loves crafting, tostones, and speculating all over queer media. And when not writing she's scrolling through TikTok or rebuilding her book collection.