COVID Hopeful

Kaye Sullivan

MEEKER | “It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

I often recall these words from Winston Churchill who was announcing a small victory for the Allies. The message from World War II is that we are not finished with this war, but we are making significant progress. The “end of the beginning” of staggering losses.

That’s how I feel about the COVID fight in the United States and the world. Just like WWII, we weren’t prepared when we should have been, we didn’t have the resources to fight the war, and we thought we were invincible.

Then, we weren’t aggressive in the early days to establish a fighting force, coordinate resources, get the home team on board, or even to realize our society as we know it is crumbling.

Britain, Europe, and the USA went on to fight a horrific war that lasted many years, sacrificed the lives of young fighting men, devastated the economy, got the home crowd growing food in their victory gardens, along with suffering rationing of basics like coffee, butter, tires, gasoline. Does this sound familiar?

So, when we possibly turn the corner on managing COVID with some promising vaccines, we are cheered, thankful, and can’t wait for them to arrive.

Realistically, this is as Churchill said, “the end of the beginning” not the end of the war. Potential vaccines won’t fix all the devastation COVID has caused in our economy, lifestyles, or communities.

Of course, we all want COVID to be over, right now. I don’t think that will happen. Vaccines are just the beginning of the many fixes needed to return us to normal or something approaching that. This pandemic has invaded the deepest regions of our hearts and souls and we better toughen up for the still hard days to come.

As Christmas approaches, let’s rejoice in the likely finding of many COVID vaccines that appeared thanks to many scientists’ hard work. It is a huge step in the right direction. And let’s be compassionate about who receives these vaccines first.

Rio Blanco County, many of you turned your back on this pandemic and treated it like a non-event. Our positive cases have risen rapidly, including me, this week. Please, please, please follow the safety protocols – they are so easy to do.

And, keep in mind that since our county chose to opt out and refuse state mandated practices, we Rio Blanco County residents will likely be the last to receive COVID vaccines. Happy now?

While we rejoice in the advances in vaccines, the COVID war is far from over. Let’s not get complacent or live in denial or thrive on “my right.” We are only at the end of the beginning battle.

By Kaye Sullivan – Special to the Herald Times