In the wake of the controversial death of George Floyd, and the subsequent protests that have taken place in every U.S. state and several countries around the globe, the nation’s focus has been diverted from the pandemic that continues to grow.

It isn’t a question of whether we should be concerned about one issue over the other. Certainly we can pay attention to both.

The World Health Organization, a long-trusted source in global health matters, reports that Sunday marked a worldwide high in the number of new daily cases — more than 136,000 — suggesting that the pandemic appears to be worsening.

In Alabama, the state Department of Public Health tallies almost 21,000 cases with 714 deaths. Houston County and other Wiregrass communities have logged new cases every day. Total confirmed cases as of Monday midday across the Wiregrass were at 1,299, including at least 401 in the past 14 days.

Meanwhile, the governor’s office is incrementally lifting isolation measures, with the “safer at home” mandate set to expire on July 3. And much of the population appears to be throwing caution to the wind, going about their usual routines, many without facial coverings.

It’s important to note that Alabama’s “curve” doesn’t yet curve; we’re unfortunately still on an upward course.

Alabamians must remain diligent and continue to practice social distancing and, despite the admitted discomfort, wear masks when in public places.

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