The other day, my wife told me to come over and look at something she’d seen online.

It turns out that twins, a girl and a boy, were born and the parents decided to name them Corona and Covid. I’m not creative enough to make that up.

Imagine down the road on their birthday when family members excitedly exclaim, “Covid’s 19.”

When Jan. 1 dawned, it appeared to be the start of another normal year. Who could have known that some three months later the country would be essentially closed because of a pandemic, causing a deep recession?

On Jan. 1, a term like “social distancing” had no meaning. It has great meaning now, deadly serious meaning.

My parents were born in the early 1930s at the height of the Great Depression. There has been no such economic disaster facing our nation since then.

The Spanish flu around the time of World War I and polio, which ravaged the nation—particularly its children-- every summer during the first half of the 20th century, have been used as comparisons to COVID-19.

The Spanish flu eventually receded, though killing some 18 million people. There were no antibiotics at the time, so those with flu-related pneumonia perished more often than not.

Polio was conquered by the widely-distributed vaccine developed by Jonas Salk and his team of researchers. Released to the public in 1955, the vaccine eradicated the death and paralysis that resulted from polio. The dreaded monster was put down.

Interestingly, Salk was but 39-years-old when he found the cure for polio. The successful vaccine made him one of the most celebrated scientists in American history.

Such will eventually be the case with the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. A vaccine will be developed and released within the next year or so, and perhaps sooner. It will go into worldwide distribution and we, as much as possible, will go back to normal.

Politics, personal beliefs or prejudices will have nothing to do with the resolution of this disease. It will all come down to brilliant medical researchers.

It’s a virus: unreasoning, highly contagious, miserable and deadly. It cares not whether someone is a registered Republican, a Democrat or an independent swing voter. Liberal, conservative and moderate voters are all sickened by the coronavirus. The same goes for people of all races and religious persuasions, and people of all ages.

Everyone yearns for normality, the ability to go out to eat, attend ballgames, hold cookouts and a million other things we take for granted until we can’t do them. We long to be close to our friends and relatives, to attend church without fear of deadly infection, to be able to open up our educational institutions.

And we all need to work. Not being able to do this, to be gainfully employed at this time, is perhaps the only thing that comes close to the pain of actually being sick with COVID-19.

I urge everyone to turn a deaf ear to those peddling lies, saying statistics regarding deaths and medical problems from COVID-19 are overblown. Ignore those who say this pandemic is no more serious than a bad flu season.

Pay close attention to medical experts. They are, in nearly one voice, telling us to be extremely cautious about reopening society in the absence of a vaccine or even an effective treatment.

Continue to wear masks, stay apart from others, practice good hygiene and do what is reasonable. In time, we will be through with this.  

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