How long will this continue? The COVID-19 pandemic is approaching its second birthday. That means two years of terrible illness, two years of death, two years of separation from family and friends, two years of businesses struggling to stay afloat, two years of anxiety.

The COVID-19 pandemic is often compared to the flu pandemic in 1917, which lasted only one year. It was similar to COVID-19 in that it was new to the human body and there was no vaccine ready to be distributed.

The 1917 pandemic killed 50 million worldwide; 675,000 of those were Americans.

The most recent count of COVID-19 deaths totals 4.5 million, with 680,000 of them Americans. Think about that: The worldwide total deaths in the current pandemic is considerably lower, but America’s deaths have surpassed the number of deaths during the pandemic 100 years ago.

In Kentucky, the death toll reached at least 8,422 since the pandemic began, with at least 52 being added early this week. Many of those recently deceased were in their 30s.

There are a few legitimate reasons for not getting vaccinated; most of the reasons cited are not sound.

• Some believe the vaccine was developed too quickly. Not true. When scientists began making the vaccine, the basic technology had already been developed, which meant scientists didn’t have to waste time reinventing the wheel.

• Some believe the vaccine isn’t effective because you can still get COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated. Not true. While you can get the virus, you are almost assuredly not going to die or even be seriously ill. That seems pretty effective in the face of a virus never seen before.

• Some believe the vaccine contains a tracking device. Not true. We don’t have that technology. Besides, nobody cares where you’re going, unless you’re a person of interest in a police case. Anyone who does care where you’ve been can check your phone records.

• Some believe the vaccine alters your DNA. Not true. Again, we don’t have that technology.

• Some believe it’s their right not to be vaccinated. Not true. You have rights until they interfere with the rights of others. Those who are not vaccinated are helping the virus to mutate into a strain the vaccine might not be able to withstand. That interferes with the rights of others.

We should be through with COVID-19 by now. How long will this continue? We don’t know. That’s up to you.

Trending Video