Department of Health acting Secretary David Scrase’s comments about the current COVID-19 surge are too little, too late (“Scrase says new wave of COVID cases looms,” June 9).

Anyone paying attention knows case numbers have been climbing for weeks. With home testing and mild or asymptomatic cases unreported, the official numbers are almost certainly an undercount. Yet no guidance has emerged from the state or federal governments on how to handle this uptick — presumably because they fear the public is “tired” of the pandemic.

This is irresponsible. Scrase states that the goal now is to prevent serious illness, not infection, relying almost exclusively on vaccines and antiviral medication. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has echoed this. Yet given the rate of breakthrough infections even among those fully vaccinated and boosted, we know vaccines aren’t enough. The article cites CDC’s own statistics indicating that roughly 20 percent of patients who contract COVID-19 also contract long COVID — a constellation of debilitating symptoms with no definite cure. According to an Associated Press story (“Study: Vaccine won’t prevent ‘long Covid,’ “ May 26, a recent scientific study demonstrated that a third of veterans who contracted COVID-19 developed long COVID. Even mild infections in healthy people can result in long-term disability.

Amy Mathews Amos is an environmental and science writer who lives in Santa Fe. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, High Country News and Scientific American.

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