January 31, 2021
When I opened the Jan. 22-23 issue of the Mohave Valley Daily News, the front-page article regarding services in the memory of Nikki Reagan immediately jumped out at me.
I was struck with intense sadness. Nikki’s husband is a friend and she is the first person I “know” to have died from COVID-19.
After a day of thinking about how this loss affects Nikki’s family and how COVID-19 has taken so many lines in our community, I was glad that the Daily News had published this article.
The prior, the front page held a photo of a large group of unmasked people (one person in the photo did wear a mask) opening a new business. Right above it the article declared a very large number of new cases and deaths from COVID-19 from the previous day. What a drastic contrast, what a frightening disconnect.
Later in the day I learned that a dear friend and her husband are both infected. I pray for their safe recovery from this rampant disease.
The citizens of our community, our cities, our counties, our states and our country need to wake up to the severity of this virus. Recent reports of serious mutations that may make the virus more contagious and the vaccine less effective should be enough. Sadly, it often takes knowing someone that the virus has taken from our lives to effect change.
Some have justified the deaths of the elderly in that ‘they were already on their way out.’ I’m sure if it were your mother or father, beloved aunt or uncle you lost, you would not be so cavalier about their death to this powerful virus.
Some have said that until this virus begins killing children that people won’t pay attention. Well, it has killed children, you just didn’t personally know them. And here is the crux of the problem. Is it so hard to imagine what it would feel like if one of those loved ones, one of those children had been dear to your? Have we as a society lost all compassion? All empathy for our fellow man? Has the “right to our freedom” taken away our ability to reason?
In all seriousness, to those of you who choose to not “mask up”, would you play Russian Roulette with a loaded gun pointed at yourself or someone you love? That is what refusing to wear a mask is like.
We must all commit to our fellow man and wear a mask when out in public. Sadly, we must treat everyone we meet as if they are carrying the virus. Not to selfishly protect ourselves, but to selflessly protect all people. This is not a difficult task. Anyone who knows anything about viral spread will tell you, wear your mask, wash your hands, socially distance yourself and be patient. The life you save may be your own, but it may be your child’s, your mother’s, your father’s or anyone you hold dear.
Are a few months of not wearing a mask worth living the rest of our life without someone you love?
Jan Stacey, Bullhead City