Opinion: Canton man believes courtesy, decency will get us through
Editor's Note: In response to Jan. 11 titled Opinion: Provide children with environment for optimism and hope, says Massena woman.
To the Editor:Paula Henry suggests we should relax Covid restrictions out of concern for the well-being of our children and to provide optimism and hope. While I strongly support the goal of supporting children’s well-being and providing optimism and hope, I believe we get there by remembering that how an individual responds to Covid impacts everyone around them.
Take a simple example. Salting stairs and walkways in the winter. Most of us don’t salt our steps because we are afraid we will fall, but because it is a very small thing we can do to prevent someone more vulnerable than us from falling. It is an act we do out of decency and courtesy.
That is also why we still mask and test. A child may not get severely ill from Covid, but wouldn’t a child feel terrible if they felt responsible for passing the disease to their grandmother? The senior citizen at their church? The immunocompromised child in their class?
I hate seeing my four children in masks. I hate that we must change our behavior so fundamentally to fight this disease. But I also believe—very strongly—in the great good of basic human courtesy and decency, even if this means doing things that I really may not want to do or wish I didn't have to do.
Please stop framing this as a matter of government control. This whole way of thinking makes us forget that courtesy and decency matter and are the things that will get us through. Doing something you don’t want to do because it may help someone else is what provides optimism and hope, not pretending that Covid is behind us or that people who mask their children do so out of fear.
Worse, blanket distrust of "government" - ironically - lets politicians off the hook. It is a huge burden to ask parents to get their children tested in order to return to school. I appreciate it when elected officials make life easier for us by creating more testing sites, instead of spending their time insulting others and acting like grown children
Covid, unfortunately, is not behind us yet. Until it is, I will continue to choose courtesy and decency, even if it means doing things I wish I didn't have to do. I think this is what it means to be a responsible adult and the type of example the next generation needs. This - I believe- is what kindles hope and optimism.