We may be winning the fight against COVID-19 but the war is not over

Vaccines and safety protocols have helped reduce the number of cases and deaths but the fight continues

A year ago, I started compiling the daily COVID-19 statistics for Virginia, the nation, and worldwide on this website. Floyd County had not yet had a reported case of the virus but one had popped up at Radford University after a coed returned from Spring Break and tested positive – the first for the area.

Wife Amy lay in a hospital bed at Carilion Roanoke Memorial after successful back surgery. I could not be with her because the hospital locked down on the day I brought her in for surgery the day before and it would be four days before we would be released and I could pick her up for the drive home.

COVID-19 closed our schools, shut down businesses, and brought socializing to an end. Like many, our income fell because of cutbacks in work.

On this last Sunday of March, we cautiously hope that the times ahead will be easier with a slow return to what might be called normal. The Virginia Department of Health says 2.3 million of the Commonwealth’s residents have had at least one shot of the vaccine — 24.7 % — with 1.25 million are considered “fully vaccinated — 14.7 percent

Floyd County, VDH said Sunday, has 4,499 with one shot and 2,869 fully vaccinated (meaning they have had the Pfizer or Moderna two shots or the one Johnson & Johnson. Amy and I are scheduled to get our second shot on April 8. A third shot may be needed if variants of the virus find ways around the protection of the vaccinations but that is still unknown.

Unknown remains the only constant in most of our lives one year after COVID-19 took control of the world. Our daughter and her husband have been “locked down” for more than a year in their homes in the Northwest part of their nation. They continue to work remotely via computers, Zoom, and other electronic means.

I continue to cover courts and the county board of supervisors for the Floyd Press and am back to shooting high school sports for the paper and this website, which was in limbo for too long. The Floyd Country Store plans to restart its “backyard Jamboree” in the yard behind the store and I plan to be there with both still and video cameras to document the return of live old-time music. Let’s hope the indoor Jamboree can return this year.

The Town of Floyd hopes to have its monthly music in Lineberry Park this year after its cancellation in 2020 and FloydFest has announced its plans to return, if the governor relaxes restrictions enough to let it happen.

Floyd County High School will have an allowed crowd of 100 or for the Lady Buffaloes Senior Night game Monday evening. However, an outbreak of the virus at Radford High School cancelled the planned game with the Buffs Saturday. Radford High is closed for the time being.

Masks, social distancing, and other safety measures remain in place. VDH reported no deaths in the New River Valley or Roanoke Valley but Floyd has had new cases that have put the total at 790 and counting.

The continued rise in cases, medical experts say, comes from people who are relaxing too much too soon and avoiding the safety protocols.

We are gaining ground on the virus that has killed 10,198 in Virginia, 562,013 across our nation, and 2.8 million worldwide but more than 1,400 on average still die from COVID-19 daily in the Old Dominion.

Please, keep your masks on and maintain the safety protocols until this virus is defeated. This war is not over.