Letter to the Editor: Where to begin?

6 mins read

Where to begin? Communities are tearing themselves apart…to mask or not to mask? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

I’m amazed at the relative absence of empathy. To those people that refuse to wear a mask: I hope you give thanks everyday that you live such a privileged existence that you don’t have anyone in your family or social circle with a compromised immune system. How lucky you are! You don’t know ONE person who wouldn’t have a better prognosis if everyone around them took whatever precautions were available in hopes of keeping them safe and healthy? You don’t know one mom driving her child to chemo treatments who would appreciate you inconveniencing yourself by wearing a mask to ensure that her child has healthy bodies around them? Or perhaps it is the parent putting the child on the bus and taking off for their own chemo treatments that needs a support system that they can count on to keep them safe? You who are so chafing under the call to just try whatever precautions suggested, even if they aren’t guaranteed 100% effective, don’t know anyone facing an illness that compromises their immune system so that they couldn’t fight Covid 19? I find that so hard to believe. Or perhaps we could find empathy for those that are living in multi generational homes to help make financial ends meet. Those young people are trying to keep the older generation safe by any means possible and not carry Covid back home to them…but you probably don’t know anyone in that situation either.

Empathy is the simple act of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try it. You’ll feel silly over your selfishness and find that your character is strong enough to admit that you were wrong and you’ll decide to put on a mask when it’s called for, not for your safety, but for someone else’s. What about those of you that are afraid of the vaccine? Guess what? Those of us that have been vaccinated actually do understand your hesitation. We felt it too. The vaccine is not 100% effective and we don’t know about the long term side effects, your fear is understandable. I never had the courage to enlist in the military, but I am incredibly grateful for those that are more brave than I am. Simply by signing their name, they are putting themselves at risk. This is something members of the military do every day for all of us. On a much smaller scale, I can do something for our most vulnerable. I can sign up for a vaccine, not knowing all the details, not knowing all the risks involved. It’s my risk for someone else. It’s something very small compared to enlisted service, but it is something I can do for others.

How about those of you that are angry that the government is telling you what to do? I hear you! I’m leery of government micromanagement of any kind. I’m afraid of universal health care and free college for all. Seems too close to the edge of that slippery slope toward socialism. I too would cringe at our government going so far as to tell me what to wear on my face or put in my body, afraid that they’re pushing their socialist agenda…except that I have internet. Yep, it’s that simple. It takes about 5 seconds to Google that, guess what, countries all over the world are encouraging mask wearing and vaccinations! So, either there is some plot by ALL the world leaders to convert everyone to socialism through the tools of mask and syringe OR this is a virus and scientists have suggested that during a pandemic you could lessen the chances of getting sick and can help slow the spread if you wear a piece of paper over your face and get a shot. Although sad, in those 5 seconds via the internet, I can plainly see that this is a worldwide pandemic and not simply Biden’s government trying to take away our rights (I have to say that if this was a universal takeover plot, I do not think Biden would be the chosen leader). If it makes you feel better, take 10 seconds on Google and find out where the birthplace of democracy is and then read up about their mask and vaccination requirements. You’ll quickly feel better knowing that by wearing a mask or getting a vaccine you’re only helping those around you and you aren’t sacrificing any of the freedoms provided by the form of government that makes our country great.

What we need around here right now is a little empathy mixed with some humility. Are you digging your heels in because you don’t dare to admit that perhaps you were wrong or that maybe your views weren’t very empathetic? Lead by example, show some empathy, and please do your part to take care of others.

Elizabeth Marble
Freeman Township

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