Just how dangerous is COVID-19 these days?

Depends on who you ask. According to some infectious disease specialists, the disease can now be considered no more dangerous than influenza.

However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, former head of the CDC, disagrees, saying COVID-19 a “much more serious public health issue than is influenza.”

Corrales Fire Commander Tanya Lattin would appear to be in Fauci’s camp, saying COVID-19’s “seriousness [has been] reduced,” but adding that “500 people a day in the United States are dying.” At the end of August, an additional 18 New Mexicans had died of COVID-19.

As discouraging as those numbers can be, Lattin said there is cause to feel a bit optimistic.

Vaccination rates in New Mexico are good, especially when looking at those who’ve gotten their primary series. For example, 96.4% of those 65 and over have had the first 2 vaccinations, while 79.7% of adults over 18 have had them.

Although only 61.1% children between the ages of 12 and 17 have gotten the first two vaccinations, that rate is about average nationwide.

Lattin, a solid proponent of preventative health care, urges everyone to get vaccinated and continue masking as appropriate.