Opinion: COVID-19 cases are more than just numbers

From the desk of Laker Country News Director Zac Oakes

Here at Laker Country WJRS, we bring you the latest totals each day of the number of COVID-19 cases in Russell County.

Each day, those cases are provided in the form of personally unrecognizable descriptors: an age and a gender.

We do that as a news service to you because it is important information that you should know to be aware of how this virus is spreading within our community.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the health department reported six new cases of COVID-19 in Russell County. Among those cases was a 25-year-old male.

I’ve seen similar characteristics on these reports multiple times. This one was different though. This one was me.

I’m thankful to the Good Lord above, my family, and many friends who prayed for me as I struggled with this virus, and on Monday, I was able to return to work here at WJRS, two weeks after the night in which COVID-19 hit me harder than any illness I’ve dealt with in recent memory.

When I say this virus is nothing to joke about or take lightly, I absolutely mean it. It attacks your body in ways most other illnesses do not. Thankfully I am young and generally healthy, so my symptoms were milder than many others who have contracted this virus, but I wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy.

I write all of this to say one thing: don’t become numb to the daily numbers. I know many people want to dispute the accuracy of the numbers, but that’s a discussion for another day. Just remember when you see those ages and genders on the reports that these are actual people in our community who are probably struggling with an illness their body isn’t used to.

Those numbers include people who are lying at home coughing or having shortness of breath, experiencing busting headaches and body aches that won’t go away or are struggling to eat and drink.

Above all, let’s just be compassionate to those we know who are struggling with this virus. Give them an encouraging call or text message. Offer to pick up groceries and leave them by the door. Offer to run an errand for them.

Let’s be good neighbors and realize that each of these numbers are humans. They’re mothers, fathers, grandparents, brothers, sisters, coworkers, and friends. I know it was easy for me to just brush these reports off as numbers. My experience has certainly changed the way I look at it, and I hope you consider how you view these numbers too.

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the author. The opinions contained herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or positions of Lake Cumberland Broadcasters, LLC., its owners, or other employees.

About Zac Oakes 89 Articles
Zac Oakes is the News Director and Digital Content Contributor for LakerCountry.com and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.