The President's Corner
As of this writing over 203,000 Americans have died due to complications from corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Sadly, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 53,402 American soldiers died in World War I, 33,739 in the Korean War, 47,434 in the Vietnam War, 148 in the Persian Gulf War, 3,528 in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, and 1,833 in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. Further, 2,605 Americans died on September 11, 2001. Thus far, over 7,000,000 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the U.S., including friends of mine. Recently, I interviewed one of those friends on the condition of anonymity about his experience for this story.
A seasonal allergy sufferer, my friend’s COVID journey began with the dry throat and cough he gets a couple of times a year. “However, my cough soon turned into a constant hack with a lot of phlegm. On the third night I awoke at 3:00 am like a hammer had hit me,” he explained. “The splitting headache, queasiness, and loss of taste and smell, convinced me that I had COVID,” he added. After several frustrating days of seeking a test and awaiting the results, it was confirmed. His doctor suggested rest, staying hydrated, and Tylenol, which he did for eight days in July.
“It was the worst illness I have ever had. At times it got so bad I honestly thought I might die. Taking a shower and getting out was a chore I was so weak, I went from hot sweats to cold chills, and, at times, I had feelings of confusion. It was relentless, it was scary, it was a monster that would not let up,” my friend shared.
Luckily, he recovered, albeit slowly and ten pounds lighter. However, he still complains that his smell is not 100% and he gets strange tastes in his mouth on occasion. His advice? “Take this seriously. Wear a mask. Stop politicizing it. I have had the flu - this is not ‘the flu’,” he said emphatically.
As we wrapped up our talk, we both came to the same conclusion: wearing a mask is a simple, non-invasive thing we can all do to show that we care about one another. Further, not wearing a mask is simply not worth the risk of passing COVID to others. If we want to get back to normal, we all need to do our part. Compared to the sacrifices made during many wars throughout our nation’s history, wearing a mask is a very small gesture. God forbid one us have the virus and not know it, then pass it to another who becomes ill or worse. In short, it cannot hurt and may be helping.
To find the facts about COVID-19 visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov and the Ohio Department of Health at odh.ohio.gov. I am praying for your health and safety Parma. Don’t forget to fall back an hour on Sunday, November 1 and vote on Tuesday, November 3. The polls will be open from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan