Amid pandemic, be respectful to others

Submitted by Astrid Northrup
Posted 4/23/20

Dear Editor:

We live in complicated times.

It’s human nature to try to wrap our heads around the pandemic, to think in categorical terms and to reduce our current situation to something …

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Amid pandemic, be respectful to others

Posted

Dear Editor:

We live in complicated times.

It’s human nature to try to wrap our heads around the pandemic, to think in categorical terms and to reduce our current situation to something simple. Either you stay home or people die; either you go back to work or the economy will fail. Turns out, both of these are partially true.

Our future does not rest on either of these extremes. Our future rests on our ability as a human community to think through this carefully.

Right now, if you have a paycheck, you are lucky. If you can work from home, you are luckier still. And if you also live in rural Wyoming and you’re a decent cook, you are among the luckiest people on the planet.

But not everyone is this lucky. Some people aren’t working and don’t have a paycheck. Some people are not eating, and some people are not safe at home. Many of these people are children.

So please, check your self-righteousness at the door and help your neighbors.

We need to stay home as much as possible, but that means different things for every one of us. For me, it means going to town once a week; but for someone else, it may mean taking their child to day care and going to work every day.

I cannot find it in my heart to belabor this point, but I also can’t find it in my heart to berate people and act or feel self-righteous. If my livelihood depended on me being out in public, I’d probably view the world in a different way.

And I would hope that people more fortunate than me would be understanding and kind.

So what can we do? If you are getting paid, continue to pay the people who worked for you. You may have someone who helps clean your house, or cuts your grass, or does your hair. Keep paying them if you can.

Be generous to your local food bank, and give people who are keeping things running the respect they deserve. When we as a community decide who is essential, be open-minded about what you consider to be an important job.

So be respectful, be kind, be generous. And stay home as much as you can, whatever that means for you.

Sincerely,

Astrid Northrup

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