Simple courtesy can save lives


On the evening of March 11, exactly one year since the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus a global pandemic, President Joe Biden made his first prime-time address to the nation.

That same day, an Associated Press poll revealed nearly 1 in 5 of us had lost someone to coronavirus within the last year.

“We are bound together by the loss and the pain of the days that have gone by,” Biden said as the virus’ death toll passed 530,000 in the U.S. alone. “We are also bound together by the hope and the possibilities in the days in front of us.”

The hope he offered was his intention to order governors to make all adults eligible for the coronavirus vaccine by May 1. And one of the possibilities he addressed was a July 4 goal for smaller gatherings of Americans becoming commonplace.

The $1.9 trillion COVID relief package Biden signed Thursday doesn’t just put $1,400 in Americans’ bank accounts. It also helps pay for millions of vaccine doses Americans need to defeat the virus and save their lives.

The president’s Thursday address acknowledged our “collective suffering” and offered us optimism for a healthier tomorrow. To realize that goal, Biden said, it will require several more months of mask-wearing and social-distancing.

He also said it necessitates all of us getting vaccinated when it’s our turn.

These vaccines are precious. In the U.S., each comes with the cost of 530,000 lives, 29 million COVID sufferers, 10 million jobless workers and hundreds of thousands of shuttered businesses.

As more vaccines are made available, more Hoosiers are finding multiple clinics locally or nearby to receive a shot. If you schedule a vaccination at one site but receive it sooner at another, make it a point to cancel the first appointment. A missed trip to the clinic might mean another person will be delayed in getting immunized. Worse, unused vaccines could be wasted — each one a missed opportunity.

Canceling an appointment you don’t need is just common courtesy. In this case, that common courtesy could save someone’s life.

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