Letter: Taking steps to combat COVID should be an easy decision

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 killed about 675,000 Americans. Citizens were ordered to wear masks; schools, theaters and businesses were closed; and bodies piled up in makeshift morgues. There was no vaccine, and I don’t think they had refrigerated trucks then. From the pictures, it looks like my great grandparents were among those who wore their masks and stayed home because I am here. I am healthy. I am alive.

Fast forward to the 1950s when hundreds of adults and children contracted polio. Many died. Many survived only because an iron lung allowed them to breathe. Many more were permanently crippled from the disease. My grandparents must have done everything they could to protect my parents because I am here. I am healthy. I am alive.

In 1955, Dr. Jonas Salk developed a polio vaccine. Shortly thereafter, my parents must have lined up at school to swallow a sugar cube containing the vaccine. It worked. I am here. I am healthy. I am alive.

When I was an infant, my parents took me to be vaccinated against polio and many other diseases. I must remember to thank them for that. I am here. I am healthy. I am alive.

In 2019, we were hit with a COVID-19 pandemic. So far, almost 900,000 have died, and many more have lasting effects from the disease. Thanks to diligent scientists, a vaccine was quickly developed to protect us against the worst of the COVID-19 effects. I got fully vaccinated as quickly as possible, and I am here. I am healthy. I am alive.

We all have friends and family members who have eluded COVID-19 because they have gotten vaccinated. They wear their masks. They have avoided large indoor gatherings in consideration for others. And no matter how it meddles with their personal beliefs, at the end of the day, these people know they are still here because of the steps they are taking.

In congruence with the future any sane human would want, it is a no-brainer. Get vaccinated, wear your masks, make responsible decisions and envision being old surrounded by family and friends who are here, healthy and alive.

Zachary D. Milavitz

Steamboat Springs

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