This is a column I have been dreading to write but, frankly, knew I had to. With Covid-19 rearing its ugly head once more, and the unrelenting Delta variant on the rise, these are scary times. A very Covid-weary nation is wondering just how much more we can take of this unrelenting and continuing pandemic.

My son was a Marine, so I tend to look at Covid in a different way. If soldiers fought a foe and won the battle, the Marines wouldn’t be surprised if the enemy returned again, this time with even more force. Knowing Devil Dogs, they would battle all the more to vanquish this strike, once and for all. We may have to take this line of attack with the danger of the Delta variant being very real.

There is not a person alive who relishes the thought of unearthing their mask collection once more, but I will do it, gladly, if it saves my fellow human beings and, honestly, also the economy. It bears repeating that one of our most vulnerable populations cannot be vaccinated, children under 12, and that situation, alone, is worth getting the shots. It is a small price to pay for the world to return to its normal axis.

Quite a few think the likelihood of getting Covid is unlikely, but I can’t even count how many within my own circle of relatives and friends have contracted the virus, including a dear cousin who passed away as a result of the pathogen. I am, actually, proof positive that something quite improbable can happen, as I contracted a rare auto-immune disease more than 10 years ago, a, literally, one in a two-million chance of occurring. I have been told I had a better chance of winning Megabucks than getting this disease, but you don’t see me living in a mansion. It happens.

We are lucky to be in a state where, from the very beginning, this outbreak has been managed with surgical precision. The struggle to contain Covid has never been a partisan or political issue in Vermont, as Republicans and Democrats, alike, have pulled together to do what it takes to protect our little state. Vermont, rightly so, has been singled out as a model for the rest of the country on how to manage a pandemic.

I understand how controversial the vaccine issue is, as I know friends and relatives who refuse to take the shots. Their distrust of the government and the speed that this vaccine came to fruition worries them. They are not uncaring or unselfish people; they just have their own particular unease on the situation.

My response to these folks is to address your concerns with your doctor. I did. My condition was one of the side effects of getting the shots and I was advised to take the vaccine because my chances of getting the condition, again, would be as likely as winning Powerball. Despite my son’s greatest wishes, you don’t see a Lamborghini in my driveway.

One of my greatest laments about this past 1½ years is how this disease somehow got politicized, but, frankly, Covid does not care which side of the aisle you support in Congress. It is a cruel and unforgiving virus and will stop at nothing to hurt us and damage our economy. I didn’t write this thinking I would change the world with my pros, but if I even nudge one person to wear a mask or take the shots, that is enough. It is a start to returning to normal.

Darcie McCann is the executive director of the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce.

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