Letter to the Editor: It’s Time We All Do Our Part for Pandemic Solutions


I have seen people not wearing masks, heard remarks — they don’t want to be told what to do; don’t follow like sheep; no worse than the usual flu; they die of prior conditions. So when I see children telling of both parents passing within hours of each other, or four adult siblings passing after a reunion, I know the odds are COVID-19.  When I now see hospitals are being overrun and refrigerated trucks are used as makeshift morgues for the second time in 10 months, I know it is time that we all do our part to come together for solutions.

I was born in 1931, so I have experienced the depression, World War II and every war or near war since. I am a first born American who listened to stories my grandparents told why they came to this country to escape totalitarian European countries. And I grew up in a town where there were eight different ethnic groups (many immigrants themselves) working the coal mine.

There were ethnic differences, but we all got along, lived simple lives. In those days there was no TV or handheld devices other than paper/pencils. In the evenings we sat in our living rooms, did our homework, read, played cards or games while listening to the radio/victrola. During the day we went to school, had chores, played games in snow or roamed the hills depending on the seasons. As teenagers we were happy to have a job whether it was babysitting, delivering papers, snow shoveling, waitressing or pumping gas.

During WWII, the coal mine had to work night and day to satisfy the war defense demand. I will never forget the day in February 1943 when the siren wailed. It was a grey snowy day, I was picking up milk from a neighbor who had cows.

That wailing siren was telling our communities that there was a bad mine accident. It didn’t stop… I know something about makeshift morgues because our gymnasium became one for 73 dead miners. There was only one funeral home. The ground was frozen 5 feet deep. The mine closed, all jobs were lost.

Our surrounding communities were never the same, but we all pulled together, not only from the loss of fathers, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, friends but we were still at war on two fronts that would go on for two more years.

 Any person my age can tell you what it was like going through four to five years of war.  Certainly here on the coast would have been more unsettling than in Montana. We all had to use ration books, you just couldn’t go buy a tire or gas, sugar.  If you ran out of stamps, too bad!

I was in high school with boys and men who survived serving their country. They came back to graduate. So this is my point. In 1940s, 18 year-old boys were drafted for the good of our nation but now in 2020 for the good of the nation we have those who doubt even though they see.  Interesting.


Rose M. Spogen