We are approaching the end of the summer. As I sat down to write this article I was feeling a bit stumped. So many thoughts are running around my head about this summer and the upcoming fall. I’m really quite confused by all I am seeing and struggle to make sense of it all. As I watch all the party boats traverse the canal filled with people enjoying them- selves in a way that appears carefree, I remember that the kids are headed back to school in a tentative and cautious way. I am struck by the anger and the hate around the mere request to wear a mask and then I hear of someone’s loss at the hands of Covid and because of our failing to get behind the only known ways to combat the spread. I fear we are not done with this virus and will be dealing with it and its variants for the rest of my life.
How did we get here? How did we become so divisive and hate filled? I have my theories but I will not opine on those. More
important is what do we do about
this state we are in? Ocean County at this moment only has 42% of
its residents vaccinated, yet when I walk into the grocery store 75% of the people in the store are not wearing masks. This means, in
the simplest of terms, that we are
going to be seeing an increase
in cases of people getting sick
and maybe even dying. I know
there are many people genuinely
fearful of the vaccine and I hope
they can come to some informa-
tion that will help them feel more
comfortable in getting one. I also
know there are many, many people
who believe that no one is going
to tell them what to do, that their
freedoms are more important than
the greater good. This makes me
sad. Communities need one another and I know that our community is filled with wonderful caring people. How did we get to the place that not caring if your neighbor catches Covid from you isn’t on our radar as being important? Are we in denial? The definition of denial isn’t that we don’t want to know something, it’s that we can’t. Is that what’s happening? I truly do not understand.
I’m pretty certain that this article may offend some but I have lived in this town my entire life and I can’t make sense of what I am seeing. Why are we not rallying to do the right thing like we did after Sandy hit? One of the silver linings of that storm was the care and compassion that was all around those of us who suffered so many losses. Here we are talking about the threat of human loss, not necessarily material loss, and we cannot seem to get ourselves together to even wear a mask.
Take care of yourselves and enjoy what’s left of the summer. Care for those you love and please try to have awareness of how your actions or inactions affect others. If we all come together in a caring and compassionate way we can make our towns a haven amongst the chaos. Until next time, stay well, wash your hands and please consider getting vaccinated!