By Edith Morgan
Today, February 22, 2021, we hit a milestone I thought I would never see: the COVID virus claimed its 500,000th victim in America: half a million Americans have succumbed to this pandemic since it hit our shores in February of last year.
President Biden marked the occasion with a moment of silence and some words of sympathy and encouragement to all those who have suffered the loss of one or more loved ones.
While the country mourns the continuing death toll, this administration is putting in great efforts to halt the progress of this malevolent virus. Our president and vice–president and their spouses continue to model the careful preventive behavior that will help keep many of us safe until the problems of the delivery of the approved vaccines is running more smoothly and effectively.
The race continues against this virus – as it mutates into various other forms, continuing to be a threat everywhere in the world.
Scientists and researchers in many nations have been working on effective vaccines, and it looks as though we may soon have several approved versions, which do not require 70-below-zero storage temperatures, and which may also not require a second shot to be fully effective.
As we get more and more people vaccinated, and as all the work continues at greater and greater speed, I am hopeful that soon we will have vaccines available pretty much on demand, at our local CVS, Walgreen’s, even at our supermarkets – just the way we now have our flu shots available.
But we are being constantly reminded that while we can now at last see relief on the horizon, it is much too soon to give up all precautions. There are still so many questions to be answered, and mother nature can not be rushed … So, I stil wear my double masks, wash my hands, keep my six-foot distance, and avoid crowds.
It is unfortunate that there are still those who try to profit from this pandemic, but it has been truly heart-warming to see how many citizens of all ages and backgrounds have stepped up, not only to thank those who have kept the various parts of our society going, but have gone well beyond the call of duty to give some comfort to those isolated by their illness.
I notice that many organizations have sprung up, giving all sorts of aid where needed. Most of us know enough about our neighbors to be able to see who needs food, warmth, funds to pay bills – and even when we ourselves are impacted by the effects of a teetering economy, having lost jobs when so many small businesses had to close down, many have shared what little they have left.
We are still the richest nation on earth, though our riches are very inequitably distributed. But I am hopeful now that we will regain our sense of fairness, realize that GREED is not good, and that by helping each other in these trying times, we can soon get to a point where all of us can survive comfortably – and contribute to our nation as well as we can.