Abraham Lincoln once said that “you cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by avoiding it today.” And while I do not believe that he could have ever known what would happen in the year 2020, I do think this quote perfectly encapsulates the decisions we have to make regarding COVID-19.
Much has been asked of us over the last year, lockdowns, wearing masks in public, getting vaccinated but most difficult of all, we’ve been asked to limit our contacts with other people. This means that those human connections that we all desire so much have been more challenging to have. Some children have been born into this world, never knowing it to be a different way.
I sympathize with those forced to use facetime rather than visit in person with their loved ones. I sympathize with those who have had to miss funerals, weddings, and all of the other milestones that life brings. This has not been fair, but then again, life often isn’t.
There is trepidation for some in getting the vaccine, and I think we can all understand and appreciate the hesitation. But what the brightest minds in the world have accomplished is nothing short of an astounding feat. This is no longer about you or me as individuals; it is about the human race as a whole. It’s about the grandparent who hasn’t been able to see their new grandchild. It’s about the person with underlying health issues, and it’s about those who have already unfairly succumb to this virus.
Wearing a mask and getting vaccinated shouldn’t be viewed as a requirement but rather personal responsibility. Not since World War 2 has the human race been asked to combat a common enemy. And make no mistake, while this virus may not have a face, it is a common enemy for all of humanity.
Some may disagree with this point of view, and that is okay. However, each day you get up, you must ask yourself the question, if not today, then when? Because this virus does not discriminate, it does not care who you are, where you live, or where you fall on the income scale. We all have a part to play in this, and a lot of the consequences are not fair, but we must look past that and do our part.
They say it is always darkest before dawn, and I believe this is the point we are currently at. At the beginning of this pandemic, we saw the best of humanity, everyone coming together to fight against this deadly virus. However, we are now seeing the worst parts of society, at a point where it’s more critical than ever to have each other’s backs.
The end is near, do not allow fear of the unknown to control your decisions. Do not allow hate to cloud our judgment. There will be more difficult days ahead, but if we all continue to be vigilant, do what is asked, better days will be here before we know it. The world will heal itself, but we must help it get there.
No place has been perfect, mistakes have been made, but there will be a time in the future when we can all look back and debate that. Now is not that time. Division only exacerbates the problem; the sooner we can be united, the sooner we can get our lives back to normal. Even though it is consuming most of our lives now, it is not here to stay. This pandemic can be a chapter in the novel of life, or it can be the whole book, but that responsibility lies with us.