We’re heading into the 11th month of COVID.
It’s mind blowing to think that a virus could cause this much chaos.
Unaware of how the disease spreads or how it affected the human body, state health and government officials temporarily paused activities last March.
The virus began to spread and infect those with compromised immune systems, particularly the elderly and people with underlying medical issues.
Those same health and government officials decided to shut down the state by the end of March. As protection, we were advised to observe three simple practices — wear a face covering, wash and sanitize our hands and remain six feet apart from the nearest person.
Despite the safety measures, COVID has continued at a rapid, almost alarming pace.
To date, we’ve surpassed the half-million mark of infected residents in North Carolina and the worldwide totals have exceeded seven digits.
COVID has become part of the world’s ever-evolving history.
The disease has disrupted our daily lives and kept us apart from friends and families. I have relatives, some with medical conditions, who have barely ventured from the front door of their home.
Fortunately, none have contracted the virus.
Once this all began, I stayed cooped up in my house and worked from home for nearly a month. Then again, I had nowhere to go or anything to cover since sports had been paused, then canceled.
We eventually re-opened the Tribune office and it felt good to feel the sunshine and breathe in fresh air. And yes, I wear my mask just about everywhere I go, except for the office because I’m the lone person there.
Granted, 2020 left us in shambles.
Still, pardon the cliche, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
We know two vaccines have been produced and been administered through a phased plan. Front-line workers and the elderly received the initial round of doses.
Whether or not you decide to get the vaccine is your choice.
But I ask you to remember this.
There are those around us who need to get the shot and cannot make it to their appointment for various reasons. If you know someone who needs a ride, please either take them to their doctor, to the health department or a site set up to handle vaccinations.
Don’t believe everything you either see or hear, or read on the internet. If you have questions, get them answered by well-informed health officials.
Knowledge is power.
We only have one life to live.
Rudy Coggins is assistant editor of the Mount Olive Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.