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A nurse puts on a gown before entering a patient room inside one of the COVID-19 units at North Oaks Hospital, Aug. 4, in Hammond.

Don’t anyone think that vaccination cards at the gates of the Caesars Superdome or LSU’s Tiger Stadium are the beginning of the end of the pandemic.

More vaccinations are good and positive steps but the death toll from the delta variant’s ravages among the currently unvaccinated continues.

Listen to one of the frontline doctors, Robert Peltier of North Oaks Health in Tangipahoa Parish: “It continues to be really hard on our staff because they fight so hard to keep those people alive. Sometimes it’s beyond their capabilities or anyone’s capabilities with this tragic illness that hits people really hard.”

The savage impact of the more highly contagious form of coronavirus continues across Louisiana. Steps like requiring vaccination or regular testing of college students are welcome, as are entrance requirements for stadiums and many other public places, the nature of the pandemic is significantly different from just a few weeks ago.

Things might get worse before they get better.

The hand-lettered sign went viral on the internet, “Take the dam shot!” The ailing patient at Baton Rouge General spoke for so many who are suffering, intubated and unable to speak or in worse shape in hospitals across our state.

We hope that moving sign will save lives but we also have to reflect on the difficulties our state will face for a while.

The famous line about World War II from Winston Churchill talked about Allied victories as not the beginning of the end, but “the end of the beginning.” That’s where we are as a state.