To whom it may concern:
I am so sorry you suffered or are suffering.
I am sorry that your loved one — a grandma, a brother, a friend — is no longer with us, taken swiftly or after months fighting a virus none of us knew a thing about a year ago.
I am sorry that people think coronavirus does not exist or isn’t serious.
I am sorry they are not convinced by the deaths of the more than 222,000 Americans the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the pandemic has taken since January.
I am sorry saying, “I am sorry more than 222,000 Americans have died from a pandemic,” has become a political statement.
I know you aren’t just making it up.
A hoax did not kill your beloved.
You didn’t ask for this.
None of us did.
Yes, I am sorry for the sacrifices that we have all had to make: missed trips, parties, concerts, graduations, you name it.
I am terribly sorry how much that has impacted workers and businesses, especially the tiny ones that were barely making it as is.
A Yelp study released in September says that 97,966 of the closed business that used its app won’t be reopening.
I am sorry some people don’t get why scientists say the many sacrifices we have made are necessary.
I am sorry about what this has revealed about compassion and decency. Far more people than I ever suspected don’t have either.
I am sorry for you. I am also sorry for them.
I am sorry that someone can call a person who lost a mother, an uncle, a friend to the virus a liar.
I am sorry some think it is OK to challenge the experiences of nurses, doctors and nursing home aides who have seen what coronavirus can do with their own eyes.
I am sorry that some think older Americans, some of whom fought in wars we have memorials for, are expendable. They are not.
Neither are people with the long list of health conditions the Mayo Clinic says makes you more susceptible to COVID-19: heart diseases, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, chronic kidney disease, sickle cell, high blood pressure, liver disease, etc.
I am horrified that the denials persist even as Ohio breaks daily coronavirus report records and a list of three counties that includes Clark are on the verge of going from public emergency level red to level purple, which the state considers risk of “severe exposure and spread.”
I am sorry you will not be the last to suffer.
I know saying sorry does not really change anything.
It won’t bring back your loved one or reverse the fact that coronavirus entered the mucous membranes in your loved one’s throat and went on to savagely attack their lungs from there.
I say sorry on behalf of myself and the people who won’t say it.
Amelia Robinson is the Dayton Daily News’ community impact editor.