There was good news on the COVID-19 front this week, both locally and nationally.
Our Sunday News feature on the nurses and doctors at one New Hampshire hospital underscored the resilience and professionalism of a health care force that has bent, but never broken, in the face of a pandemic.
As with others, the staff at Catholic Medical Center is bone-weary and dispirited by a disease that wouldn’t be taking such a toll if more people took the simple step of getting vaccinated.
If the pandemic story were submitted as a novel, it would be rejected as too farfetched that a life-saving and safe vaccine could be produced so fast but then declined by so many.
As our staff reporter Shawne Wickham detailed, it is that factor that can leave some health workers wondering if this nightmare is ever going to end.
Which leads us to the national good news. As predicted by CDC advisors, coronavirus infections are continuing to trend downward. The expected winter surge may end up either not happening or being significantly less widespread.
Serious COVID illness is declining. Hospitalizations nationally have fallen nearly 25 percent since Sept. 1. Daily death counts are also declining. New Hampshire’s figures should soon trend the same.
Former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb tells the New York Times that “barring something unexpected, I’m of the opinion that this is the last major wave of infection.”
This is happening in part because the percentage of eligible Americans being vaccinated continues to rise, although not as rapidly as it could. With approval of shots for children ages 5 to 11 pending, the numbers will get even stronger.
That is good news for all of us, and especially for doctors and nurses and EMTs and others who are getting mighty tired on the front lines.