How lucky are we to be here?

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No Irish ancestry required to appreciate the luck that has brought us this far, though random good fortune probably has little to do with where we are today.

It was three short—and long—years ago that we were acclimating to the fog of uncertainty as Californians and the country were settling into.

A new coronavirus sparked a pandemic. Chula Vista was the first city in the county to report an actual case of COVID-19. Not long after Gov. Gavin Newsom called on residents to stay at home and later would shut down all but essential businesses in an effort to mitigate spread among the population. Outdoor activities including more than a handful of people were banned.

A resurging Third Avenue in Chula Vista was silenced and parks in National City were deserted, playground equipment left unused and enjoyed for weeks to come.
St. Patrick’s Day, the one day a year when scores of revelers reconnect with their newfound albeit temporary Irish ancestry in bars, was eerily quiet. Wake-like.

That was then.

Here we are, now.

Despite what you see on social media feeds, or how much your patience and tolerance for inconvenience wanes, we are still navigating our way through an airborne pandemic.

But the progress we have made since those early days of empty streets and isolation (and respect, compassion and appreciation for healthcare workers) is tremendous. Not much of it, however, has to do with luck.

Vaccines and mitigation coupled with social responsibility have brought us to where we are today.

It isn’t luck that developed COVID-19 vaccines in record time, or that convinced people to wear a mask to stunt the spread of a virus through the air into their neighbor’s lungs.

It wasn’t luck that made people avoid spending time with loved ones so that they might avoid passing along disease.

It was the cooperation, sacrifice and consideration of community that brought us to where we are today. Now.

We are still in a pandemic. We are still seeing ghastly numbers of deaths related to COVID-19 and its variants and we are still not out of the woods.

But we are among the living who have the good fortune to feel the warmth of hope and progress. Thanks to the work and sacrifice of others we are lucky to be here.

How lucky are we to be here?