I’m not the traditional church-going type. “Christianity” is an antiquated, laden term of which I’m not a fan. My faith is unique, evolving. My God is changing and alive with the times. My Bible is a book of stories, metaphors and poetry. It is not a hard and fast guidepost.
Vaccinations continue to slow down in the four-county area and in the state as a whole, but case counts are dropping too, with the 981 new cases reported statewide May 4 — marking just the fourth time since October that figure has fallen below 1,000.
Despite a continued pause on distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and flagging demand for appointments, the past week saw continued progress on local vaccination rates and a reversal of the upward trend in confirmed cases.
The COVID-19 vaccination rollout is in full swing, and while many people rushed to get their shot at the first opportunity, others say they still have questions and will wait for a vaccine — or won’t get one at all.
After months of working breakneck speed to clear an ever-expanding backlog of people waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, local health departments are reporting a marked slowdown in signups, even though only about 30 percent of the population has received at least one shot.
More than 80 percent of Smoky Mountain News readers have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and less than 10 percent say they’ll refuse altogether, according to the results of an unscientific survey conducted by SMN from March 24 through March 31 of this year.
People who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things they had stopped doing because of the pandemic, according to the CDC. This includes gathering indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask, gathering indoors with unvaccinated people of one household without wearing masks and traveling within the United States without COVID-19 testing or quarantine.
When the pandemic first hit, Waynesville resident Sammie Conner was so scared of contracting COVID-19 that she wouldn’t even go to the grocery store. As a 56-year-old woman with COPD, among other health issues, she knew she was a prime candidate for a poor outcome, so she sent her husband to do the shopping.
The holidays have come and gone, and we are in that New Year period where the kids are still out of school and all the days blend together. This is a great time of year to begin thinking about spending for Christmas 2023.