Over 50 years ago when I worked in medical research, I determined that someday the viruses of this world would be the demise of humanity.

I must say I have not changed my mind. You see viruses are opportunistic ... they spread from one person to another, because we become "hosts" for them. Today's COVID-19 virus and its mutants find hosts in the unvaccinated people.

Years ago, we did not have antiviral medications to help us survive the illness; and today we are learning more about this particular virus and it appears now that the treatment recommendations do not work on the new variant, omnicom. So the medical team must then use supportive means to help people survive; however, you must keep in mind that the next variant could well need yet a different treatment. It could also be more severe, more contagious, and more deadly. No one knows.

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Currently, it appears this variant easily spread through the air. So it is important to wear masks to prevent breathing it into your body, or if you are already infected, the mask will lessen your spreading it to others.

Scientist have worked hard over many years improving the identification of contagious diseases and the making of vaccines to combat them. Please, I understand you are tired of the disruption of our daily lives due to this viral disease, but also know, it is not going away as long as there are hosts who can be infected, spread and promote mutation of this virus. The only known way to stop it is to get vaccinated.

I also predict since this is a worldwide disease, annual boosters will be required. Please understand also, our precious children are at greater risk of this viral disease because they are not fully vaccinated. We should encourage the full vaccination of all age groups. We should also realize this virus is worldwide, so our challenge to treat all persons in a monumental task. But you can help: get vaccinated, wear masks when in crowded places, use good hand washing technique, and stay isolated if you do not feel well.

We can all help win this insurmountable battle. Dr. Howard Dean has been the only person I've heard to say, the virus is not going away.

Please help us win this battle. A footnote: we lost our youngest son to COVID-19 before vaccines were available. I urge you to do everything you can to protect yourselves, your family and your fellow citizens. The pain of losing loved ones is dreadful.

Sandy Engelman

Inverness