As we move into the “hot fun” of summertime, it cannot be understated how different THIS particular summer is from all previous summers before. We cannot help but make comparisons between where we were last summer at this time and where we are today. Last summer the entire world was in the midst of a Global Pandemic. We are still dealing with the pandemic here in the United States and around the world; however, due to the heroic efforts of medical science, we are not where we were last year at this time. We have hope that we can defeat this horrible virus called COVID-19. COVID has killed over 4.03 million people world-wide and has infected over 187 million. The United States with 606,000 people dead, currently has the highest number of people killed by COVID-19.
This virus has been relentless and devastating for families, communities, businesses and our healthcare systems and yet, science has offered us all a lifeline back to our pre-pandemic lives. And we should celebrate the light at the end of the tunnel with a profound sense of gratitude. Although, it is sometimes difficult to feel completely free to engage in what we should be celebrating when there are so many false narratives, suspicions, distrust and politics surrounding the vaccine protocol that our CDC, healthcare providers, and federal, state and local governments are attempting to implement. It is true that we have beat back this pandemic into a “state of submission”; this virus is still very much alive and well in the U.S. and finding other ways to continue to infect and kill people through its various mutations. Unfortunately, we still are not safe. This is in large part due to the numbers of UN-Vaccinated people who are keeping us from the so-called “herd immunity” we need as a society and nation to finally put COVID-19 behind us.
Last year at this time we were in lockdown across the United States. Everything was cancelled. Family reunions, weddings, graduations, proms, parties, sporting events and even Broadway was shut down! We were separated and isolated from our friends and family, experiencing shortages in toilet paper, paper towel, cleaning supplies and so many other ordinary, everyday household items were absent from grocery store shelves. It was hard to celebrate anything last year at this time. Our relationships, even with close friends and loved ones were relegated to “screen time” on mobile devices and computer platforms like Zoom. It was surreal. It was more difficult for people who did not have access to the internet or the devices or platforms that allowed us to safely connect with other people at least “virtually.”
We have now arrived at a time when things are moving back to some sense of “normalcy.” It feels like a brand-new day and we know that it is because of science and medical intervention. Science has rescued us from the edge of the cliff once again. Science and medicine have given us all a new lease on life and without this incredibly effective medical intervention, it would be difficult to imagine where we would be as a nation today. How many more hundreds of thousands of people would be dead right now?
Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Science and medicine and all of the researchers and participants in the research are superheroes and have literally saved the world. We are able once again to gather together with family and friends to celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and even memorial services. I never thought I would have to participate in a “virtual funeral”, but COVID-19 made it impossible to grieve our losses together and properly say goodbye to friends and relatives. Let us recognize how fortunate we are to have the benefits of science and medicine. However skeptical you are, or have been, you cannot deny the results as proof.
We may not be where we want to be, but we are most definitely NOT where we were last summer at this time! As a person of faith, I thank God and as a person who is fully vaccinated, I thank science! I am so grateful that I can hug my children, my grandchildren, my parents. I can Today, celebrate another birthday, because science is real, and it WORKS! Please #getvaccinated #planyourvaccine. If not for yourself, do it for your community!