When it comes to masks and vaccination, I could say that Gov. Kate Brown is a parent of a naughty child who explains the risks of dangerous behavior and sets up reasonable limits and penalties, while Govs. Greg Abbott of Texas and Ron DeSantis of Florida just let their kids do whatever they want. Governors aren’t parents and adult citizens aren’t children. A leader can do little in a democratic nation so passionately divided. Our country is founded on the principle that people can govern themselves and use their rights and liberties responsibly, but what happens when they don’t?
The Black Plague wiped out as much as a third of the population of Europe because people didn’t know how to stop it. COVID-19 could be worse because it is a constantly mutating virus that will develop new and more lethal variants if it is allowed to spread. We know how to manage or even stop it by wearing masks and getting vaccinated, but half the country refuses to do so.
There are legitimate reasons not to vaccinate and mask, and no one likes being told what to do, but we must act like intelligent, responsible adults. We must show our patriotism by wearing masks and getting vaccinated. If we don’t, we might lose our precious rights and liberties because, to borrow from the Gettysburg Address, this great nation divided against itself cannot stand and just might perish from the face of the earth along with the rights and liberties which define it.
Donald M. Brasted-Maki