FILE — Kathryn Varela gets her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from Columbia Safety Medical employee and medical assistant Moises Roman Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at Yakima Valley College in Yakima, Wash.

To the editor — We have been practicing medicine in our beautiful valley for more than 20 years. The last year has been hard on us all.

Earlier this year we were fortunate to receive COVID vaccines. Elated is a word that comes to mind as the weight of the pandemic, much of it unacknowledged, was greatly lightened. Even more now that our adult children are vaccinated as well.

We would like to thank everyone who stepped up when duty called to protect themselves, their families, our community and our nation. We owe you an undying debt of gratitude. So many went above the call of duty to put themselves at risk, to put it in that extra effort that is emblematic of the red in our flag.

But the fight is not over, and we ask all of you to continue with contact precautions when indicated and to get the vaccine as soon as you can.