Over a year after the worst Pandemic in American history in over a Century, the arrival of Spring this year signals the re-emergence of the American people from this national nightmare. Over 2 million people are now being vaccinated every day across America, narrowing each day the pathways for this virus to infect fellow citizens. Consequently, Americans are coming out of their homes to go shopping, to the gym to exercise, to dine in restaurants, to socialize, and to re-connect with friends and loved ones, giving new meaning to the term: “Spring has Sprung!”
As we, the American people, embrace our new life and lifestyle, we must remember those the virus took from us. The professions most decimated by this curse were those in the First Responder community; Cops, Firefighters, EMT Workers, Health Care Professionals, and U. S. Military workers. And, members of this community are still dying – needlessly now that there is a vaccine available to them.
In 2019, the number one cause of deaths of Cops nationwide was by suicide; throughout 2020, the number one cause was the COVID virus. For the first time in 4 years, suicides decreased in 2020, and significantly, largely due to the impact of a still-growing national coalition of non-profit organizations, websites, lay people, current and retired law enforcement Officers, and members of the Medical community, all of whom have joined forces through the free and instantaneous connect-ability of the Internet and Social Media. It is this network that gets the message out nationwide, that troubled First Responders have dozens of Venues from which to choose to receive the Counseling they need to stay Well during very troubled times.
This same network must also now get the message out to First Responders that if they are to keep themselves, and their families and loved ones safe, they need to take the coronavirus vaccine. Sadly, while First Responders were offered the opportunity to get the vaccine first, many still have chosen not to do so. Many also are reluctant to wear masks.
Much has changed since “Operation: Thumbs Up! was incorporated back in 2000, but the message is still simple, free, and with a new variation: if you have been fully vaccinated against COVID, please give a friendly “Thumbs Up” salute to First Responders, along with the greeting: “I Got Vaccinated!”
J. R. de Szigethy, Program Founder
p.s: I am over 65 years old and experienced no side-effects.
OPERATION: THUMBS UP!