As the battle against Covid-19 continues, I remind everyone that even though socialization restrictions have lightened up, this horrible disease is still threatening our existence. I am disheartened when I see people walking together in public places without masks and walking shoulder to shoulder and not giving thought that the disease is still around us. When firehouse procedures lighten up and you come down to the firehouse, keep in mind that masks, hand sanitizer and keeping your distance from your brothers and sisters is a good idea.

Listening to the news, I hear that research is being done to come up with a vaccine that will protect us from Covid-19. Researchers feel that we could see an estimated date of 2021 for a vaccine. Truthfully, I am not confident that this will happen. Yes, times have changed, and our research technology is far superior than it was in the past. Let me share some of my thoughts with you.

Polio can be traced back to 1580 BC. It was not until 1916 that serious concerns about the disease heightened and scientists started to work diligently to find a vaccine. In 1955, a vaccine to fight polio was developed. In 1961, an oral vaccine was developed and given to our population. I received my sugar cube with the vaccine in elementary school. Looking at the timeline, a lot of years passed before we had a vaccine for Polio.

Look at the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS). This virus was discovered in 1983 and almost 40-years later, there is no cure for the disease. Yes, we can treat the disease and control the symptoms, but there is no cure. What makes you believe that we will have a cure for Covid-19 in less than a year?

I believe that everyone should rethink their lifestyles and get used to wearing masks in public and utilizing hand sanitizer on an immediate and regular basis. When you get together with friends, remember the six-foot rule. Diseases can lurk in very visible places. Ask the people who have survived the horror of Covid. They will tell you it was one of the worst experiences they have ever gone through. Many will say, “I didn’t think I was going to make it.” It is easy to forget a bad situation. We forget that close call we had at a past fire, we forget that we caught the flu from using our SCBA facepieces that were never disinfected after use. Our experienced firefighters will tell you of times when you exited a fire and handed off your SCBA to another firefighter so someone else could take over the line as the fight continued. It took us until the 1990s when we realized facepieces needed to be sanitized after each use and every firefighter needs to have their own personal facepiece. Diseases can spread easily. Do not let your guard down and continue to follow the guidelines that are in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In closing, I remind everyone to watch out for each other. Don’t be afraid to remind someone to wash their hands, keep their distance from one another and continue to follow the guidelines that are in place to prevent the spread of Covid -19.

Be Safe,