Pandemic this holiday season cautions against travel

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By Deborah Baker, Publisher

Close friends have recently lost one of their closest friends, a sister, who traveled with her husband to visit children and grandchildren they were longing to see.

The COVID-19 pandemic makes us forget in our longing for “the way it was” that this is still a pandemic.

The pandemic has found a harbor of safety among us, its unwary victims. While we have not met the 675,000 death toll of the Spanish Flu in 1918, make no mistake in thinking we won’t meet or exceed that total.

History repeats itself.

A quarter of a million have died in less than a year in comparison to the total 675,000 in the last pandemic. The Spanish Flu lasted for more than two years.

Travel is much easier today than it was in 1918 when air travel was in its infancy.

Unfortunately, travel may have contributed to my friends’ loved ones contracting CO- VID-19 on their way to be with their family.

Within 5 days, all family members, travelers and hosts became ill with coronavirus. The news that one of my close friends’ dear one will not be returning to St.Louis is heartbreaking.

How many more similar tragedies among the Call’s readership are cropping up?

How many others are missing loved ones far away?

I want to wish you all a Happy Holiday along with a sobering message. We are not through this pandemic.

Please take precautions. If you are considering whether to travel, I hope you choose to stay home this holiday season. Let’s strive to curb the death toll during this pandemic.

This is not 1918. We can do better. Let’s not allow history to repeat.

Think about former Republican President Eisenhower’s words, “A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both.”

While I want the economy to flourish, I want everyone to make it through this pandemic.

Stay safe by practicing the simplest practices we have available. Wash your hands, wear a mask and stay socially distanced.

Let’s attack this mess with what we do have, common sense and caring for our brothers and sisters.

Consider giving to those in need this holiday season. Whether you already have an organization you donate to, remember those in the neighborhood. Feed My People, Arnold Food Pantry and Operation Food Search can assure your holiday generosity provides for those close to home.

Goodwill to all.