Remember the COVID toll in Tennessee on this ‘more normal’ Thanksgiving

Tennessee Department of Health data as of Nov. 18, 2021. Graphic created with Flourish Studio.

While Tennesseans look toward enjoying a more normal Thanksgiving Holiday this week with family feasts and fellowship, take a moment to remember the those who have died of COVID-19 during the pandemic and to ponder what is yet to come.

As of last Thursday, 7,708 women and 9,113 men have died of COVID in Tennessee, according to statistics from the Tennessee Department of Health.

Tennessee’s COVID-19 death rate in 2021 ranks among the top four in the United States with the governor ending the state of emergency and the Legislature imposing barriers to public health responses.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from severe effects or death from COVID-19 is by getting fully vaccinated against the novel coronavirus.

Only 49.1% of Tennesseans are fully vaccinated. So while you are out shopping on Black Friday, about every other person probably isn’t fully protected against the virus.

The fully vaccinated percentage is a bit higher in Knox County, at 54.59% while bordering Union County only has 33.64% of its population fully vaccinated.

With restrictions and cautions going by the wayside and the take rate of vaccine shots anemic, COVID cases in Tennessee are on the rise.

That, coupled with holiday travel and festive gatherings, is fanning fears of a post-holiday surge in December or January.

So on this Thanksgiving be thankful and be vaccinated.