Letter

What Kind of Community Do We Want to Be?

Only our ability to work together will determine our resilience

By Antonia Malchik

I’ve heard more times than I can count that people who oppose mask-wearing aren’t “afraid” of COVID-19. This implies that everyone else is walking around in fear, which was never the case. Mitigating the spread of the virus is simply about working together to care for our community: trying to keep it from reaching vulnerable people at high risk of death or long-term illness and doing all we can to make sure our actions don’t lead to hardworking hospital staff becoming overwhelmed.

  No matter how many arguments are made about personal freedom, the real question is what kind of community we want to be. Do we want to be one where people rage at one another over social media and in public meetings – one where school board members, our neighbors, receive death threats for deciding to protect children using the simplest, least intrusive measures – or do we want to be one where people look out for one another?

Our communities will face more crises in the future, perhaps even a pandemic with a far higher mortality rate. We will not weather them by relying on personal responsibility alone. Only our ability to work together will determine our resilience.

Antonia Malchik
Whitefish

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