Submitted by Marilyn Strickland.
My heart aches for all those who have lost loved ones to this horrific illness. Today, we must pause to remember the more than 200,000 people in the United States – and including more than 2,000 of our fellow Washingtonians – who have been lost to COVID-19. While we measure the toll of deadly pandemics with data and see the damage done to our communities and economy each day, we can never forget that at the core of this crisis is loss and grief. Each of these deaths is a tragedy, and millions of our fellow Americans are mourning the loss of someone they loved.
What makes the loss of 200,000 people in our nation even more tragic is that much of this suffering was preventable. The absence of a national strategy from the current administration to address this pandemic has cost lives. That undeniable fact is a national tragedy and stain on our nation. We are better than this.
Now, we must honor the memories of those lost to this crisis by finally addressing the public health crisis with a comprehensive, science-based plan for prevention, testing, tracing, treatment, and vaccinations. We must ensure we are adequately prepared to face these types of threats in the future.
For the South Sound and our entire country, recovering and rebuilding after COVID-19 is the challenge of our times. With so many lost lives, lost businesses and lost jobs, I know the road ahead will be difficult. But I know we are resilient, and we will recover and rebuild with the compassion and determination that is the hallmark of our great state and our great nation.