In times of crisis, Americans could always take pride in coming together. Last weekend we displayed what unity looked like, and felt like when we remembered the events of September 11, 2001. We were “One nation, under God indivisible…” Caring for and fighting for the safety of our families, our friends, our neighbors, and ourselves are core values to being American. It is who we are. It is what often sets us apart from other nations.
Unfortunately, our latest national challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, has shaken our sense of unity. We are divided and we all know what happens to a house divided.
I will share with you why I wear a mask in public spaces. It is not a political choice. COVID-19 is a virus that I can’t see. I wear a mask because I would be horrified to find out that I might have passed on to anyone else an unseen enemy that threatened their health or even their life. I would have a very difficult time living with that. I am fully vaccinated because I believe that vaccines save lives.
I have tried to live my life with conscience intentions; an informed life that takes all the information that I can into consideration before forming my reaction to it. This is how I’ve approached COVID-19. My approach is non-judgmental and non-political. My approach is simply rooted in my caring for others and myself.
A number of scheduled community events have been canceled due to a resurgence of the virus via the Delta variant. More variants are emerging. No one can honestly say when it will end; we can only hope that it will. If I can offer any measure of reassurance, history tells us the following:
· We have seen hard times before and survived.
· We know what we need to do to keep safe.
· We are communities that always rise to help our neighbors.
· We each have core values that sustain and guide us.
· We will get through this together.
So, whether you chose to wear a mask when you can…if you chose to get vaccinated or not…just make an informed decision that reflects your values. The values given to you by your parents, grandparents and all of those who made you who you are today.
I had to memorize this poem in middle school and it has stayed with me throughout my life. This is how I see the world and my relation to it.