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Don’t let fear and risk get in the way of hope

Vox Pop

Health and economic fear and risk are each fourletter words. But so is hope. As of today, the current U.S. COVID-19 infections are at 1,324,488 and total U.S. deaths at 79,756. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) a 72% uptick in COVID-19 cases in rural America as of today.

I understand that job loss is traumatic, my workshops and work with UW-Madison’s writing department have ceased for now. There is a notion that not wearing a mask when around others, or gloves, or even washing one’s hands, is somehow connected to liberty i.e. I can do whatever I want whenever I want no matter the cost to others.

There is also fear - not only of job loss - but fear of science and statistics. In order for the economy to get better two things have to happen: the coronavirus a/k/a COVID-19 must be defeated via vaccinations or other medical treatments, social distancing, and we must do our part in believing scientific evidence about the high communicability of the virus.

As for liberty? No one has the right to infect anyone else. That is a perversion of liberty. Those disregarding wearing masks (I see them in Medford stores all the time) are saying “I may be infected and I don’t care if I infect you), Freedom and liberty are not one and the same. Liberty in society holds (these days) gloved hands with a responsibility to the community one lives in. Freedom includes freedom of thought and expression but also laws forbidding nasty behavior to others.

Science is not to be feared - it has brought cures and medicines to numerous diseases, remember when polio was wrecking lives? Or HIV-Aids? Or measles? Or whooping cough (I had it when I was three months old)? Or so many other innumerable advances in science?

Yup. I wear my mask anywhere I am around other people, I wear disposable gloves and abide by the rule of standing 6-10’ apart from others. Why? One can be highly infectious but not show any symptoms at all. We have been sheltering mostly in place since April 4 (except for a grocery run every 10 days or so) because I had gone to Mayo in Rochester for a checkup and did not know if I had been infected. Thank goodness all the news was good - medically and not coming down with COVID-19.

Feel good about sheltering in place, wearing masks, washing your hands, and protecting others from you possibly infecting them (the virus has infected everyone from babies through adults of all ages) and protecting yourself from others who may be infected. In doing these things you give yourself and others the other four-letter word: HOPE. — Sue Roupp, Rib Lake