Letter: Work together with kindness, through science

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Editor of the Reformer:

Apparently a few people have been a bit aggressive toward people who might have COVID-19 right here in Putney. At first I was shocked, then I realized between people's usual level of discomfort with people who are ill and the confusion of what to believe about this particular virus, people's feelings and thoughts must be running high and are all mixed up. A perfect recipe for people to lash out. The problem is they're lashing out at vulnerable people instead of the cause of the problem. What to do, what to do. For my part, as a person who is potentially quite vulnerable to the virus, I have no concerns at all about becoming infected from people who know they have the virus. Those are the people who are taking care of themselves and following scientific protocols.

On the other hand, I am nervous, and even afraid, of those walking around without the masks, the ones who seemingly aren't following the guidelines put out by the experts. Those are the ones who are likely to make me and others sick. They are the ones who put my community in danger, who will clog up our medical system, cost us a fortune, prolong the isolation period. Because of these people I wear a thicker mask, stay farther away from people, and I don't shop in their stores.

I wish I knew what else to do to calm people down and have them focus on actual solutions. Maybe, one thing nearly all of us can do is to talk about what it's truly like living with illness. Who here doesn't live with illness? We have high blood pressure, anxiety, asthma or a bad back but we take medications for it. We then ignore it. We avoid the idea that we, too, live with illness! Most people we know might not realize that we live with illness. It's not something `it's nice' to talk about. Society helps us to feel ashamed of our being ill, being `less than perfect,' no longer energetic, able, or, perhaps, happy. But if everyone talked about their illnesses, maybe the idea that being ill in itself wouldn't be seen as the problem. Maybe being ill would be seen as 'normal,' and, instead, the focus could become the causes of the illnesses, or the solutions to the problems. Science can take care of this issue just as it's dealt with all the other illnesses. Through following the facts we can take actions that would lessen this disease quickly and dramatically. Let's work together with kindness and through science. Let's all follow the protocols to stay safe and to keep others safe. Let us, everyone of us, be a part of the solution, not the problem.

Julie Tamler

Putney, May 18

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