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Opinion: Fighting spirit of WWII needs to be harnessed against coronavirus

Pearl Harbor survivor Lou Conter, 98, center, from the USS Arizona, smiles during the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom. 

It took me a few days to become accustomed to this social distancing and to broadcasting my show, Live Mic, from the guest bedroom in my house.

I gathered up some equipment from the office, an engineer followed me home, and we set up a little studio. And I’ve been here for most of the past two weeks. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be here, and neither do you.

Some people are missing out on milestones: weddings, graduations, birthdays, school championship games and matches, and family reunions, etc. And they should happen just as you imagined.

But during this unprecedented time, a time of war, unprecedented actions are needed from all.

Sacrificing to defeat a foreign enemy

America was on the brink of another global war, World War II, when schoolchildren in Kenilworth, Utah, wrote the editors of The Salt Lake Telegram in March 1941 to ask: “How can I protect America.”

The editorial made three points that seem to me to be especially relevant now:

  • I must be willing in the hour of my country‘s need to make personal sacrifices for my country.
  • I must be tolerant and understanding, helping to protect America against those currents of injustice and intolerance and persecution, which are the enemies of democracy.
  • [And] I want to be an adventurous, progressive, two-fisted American like the patriots and pioneers who founded this country and made it great.

WWII parallels with coronavirus

We need to have that same attitude in our veins today. We don’t have a foreign enemy bombing ships and killing sailors at Pearl Harbor today.

What we do have is an invisible enemy. Our weapons to fight this enemy are patience, social distancing, hand washing and following the orders and guidelines of experts.

So you do that, and we stop this enemy from spreading, and you join Americans back in the 1940s who united to conquer a very visible enemy and won World War II.

Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app.

How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

State of Utah:

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States