We’re tired. Everyone’s tired.


This pandemic has dragged on now for eight interminable months. We’ve seen our lives disrupted in countless ways, not the least of which is the constant presence of an unpredictable virus. We’ve given up nearly a year of our lives.


We’re all fatigued, all looking to round some kind of corner.


But that corner isn’t here yet. Instead, we’re seeing surges in cases and hospitalizations across the country. And winter threatens, a season full of family holidays held indoors at close quarters — environments ripe for COVID-19 transmission.


It’s time for us to look inside and find strength. Because the tiredness that we feel, the exhaustion that permeates our bones, it can lead us astray. Maybe we decide to leave our masks at home. It’s just going to be a quick visit, after all. Maybe we decide to host a gathering of friends indoors. But there won’t be many guests, after all.


Or maybe we just throw up our hands and decide that any attempt to control the virus is futile. Let’s just roll forward, we think. Consequences be damned.


All of these responses can be tempting. Even the most meticulous among us has no doubt felt these impulses at one point or another. But they’re not helpful. At best, you might avoid trouble and continue risky behavior. At worst, you might enable the virus to spread. And given the number of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, you may not realize which of those scenarios you’re part of.


Believe it or not, we have made tangible progress against the virus. Doctors have better treatments and more knowledge. Various therapies are coming on line. Vaccines are being tested around the world. We won’t face this disruption forever.


But we can’t let up. However tired and beaten up we feel, however groggy and unhappy as days turn into weeks and months, we must stay the course. Believe us, health care providers are more tired and beaten up.


Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated indoor spaces.


You know the drill by now. Protect yourself and protect those around you. Protect your communities. Remember the welfare and rights of others. We have to work together — this winter and beyond.