We’ve been living with COVID-19 for more than a year now. It is a pandemic that surrounds us all and threatens our whole continued existence.

World War II, the last huge threat to our survival as a healthy entity, actually brought us together as a nation.

Yet, after a year plus of a health pandemic, we’re still divided and too busy berating the “other side” on how to deal with the plague that threatens us all.

Can’t our major party leaders, present officeholders and would-be officeholders gather together, or at least be consistent in issuing, publicizing and pleading the same simple message?

Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate!

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Get vaccinated whenever you can, wherever you can. Facilitate and cooperate with vaccine suppliers, vaccination sites, the vaccinators, support staff, arrangers and schedulers.

Help arrange for and transport and accompany those who need help to secure vaccination.

Local media: Please publicize and re-publicize all available times, sites and details that are available now and as they develop.

Instead, in Minnesota we’ve got Gazelka and crew wasting legislative time and money taking shots at Gov. Walz and renewing futile attempts to strip him of the same emergency powers that every governor in the country has invoked. Why not accept that he is going to keep them awhile longer and work with him to make adjustments along the way?

I don’t understand how the pandemic can be a partisan political issue in the first place. Yet, recent national polls show that one-third of Republicans and almost half of Trump supporters say they won’t get vaccinated.

Now we’ve got a likely Republican candidate for governor, who is a former state senator and medical doctor, telling his own patients not to take the vaccine. It gets him a lot of free publicity now, but at what cost to a patient who contracts the disease?

Thankfully, most all of the Republicans I know here in Echoland are just as anxious to become vaccinated as are us flaky liberals. And, when necessary, they are traveling some distance to do so.

When in public proximity, wear a mask. I don’t like wearing a mask. They’re worse than a necktie and a lot harder to keep track of. But I’ll wear the darn things as long as the medical experts tell me it reduces the likelihood of me infecting somebody else..

I’m amazed, perplexed and angered a bit when some few carry their mask refusal to a point of physical threat or confrontation. Wear a mask or stay home.

I do hope, that at least locally, we all - Republicans and Democrats alike - can commiserate and suffer our way through the rest of the pandemic we are in, together!