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Letter: The positives of COVID-19 can outweigh the negatives -- if we choose

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) People line up for the vaccine on Thursday, March 18, 2021, as the Utah Film Studios in Park City loans its space to the Summit County Health Department as a drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination station.

Throughout the long summer of 2020 I worked hundreds of hours in a COVID-19 drive thru testing tent. By my rough calculations I got up close and personal with over 5,000 different nostrils by administering nasal swabs to a variety of patients. Enjoyable is not a word that I would use to describe the experience. In fact, while sitting under the hot sun wearing PPE and constantly watching people go through the discomfort of having a swab seemingly tickle their brain, the experience was the furthest thing from “enjoyable” that I could have imagined.

In the race for better perspective, time is on our side. With time, I have looked back on my time in the tent with profound fondness. I was in a position to participate in a cause greater than myself and help people in their small moment of vulnerability and that has come to mean a lot to me.

Reflecting my personal experience onto a global scale, as communities begin to recover from the challenges brought on by the pandemic, with time on our side, positives brought on by the virus can be seen and learned from. There are many lessons from the pandemic to profit from, including an increased compassion for others and awareness for public safety that can be applied as we reflect back on the dark days of the virus. As we each do our part and personally apply these lessons, the net positive can outweigh the negatives brought on by the virus.

Sam Perry, Provo

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