/ Letters / ‘We must work together’

‘We must work together’

April 21, 2020

To the Editor:

Watching what is happening in New York, Detroit, Miami and Chicago, it’s difficult to imagine anything like that happening here. But I am imploring everyone to take this pandemic seriously. It will come to rural areas and ours is particularly vulnerable. This is the time of year that many to our south, where the virus has taken hold, will venture north to open their vacation homes, stock their pantries and perhaps hunker down to ride out the worst of it. None of us have immunity. The virus spreads easily and quickly. It does not make itself known for up to two weeks after exposure, while the infected can still spread it. Our peak will come towards the summer if we don’t take this seriously and people will die.

It makes me really angry to go into a business that is allowed to remain open as “essential” and find that the owners and staff are doing nothing to protect me or anyone else, as paying customers. No one is limiting the number of people in the store, ironically shopping for organic bulk goods and health foods. The store is often crowded. Key pads or counters are not being sanitized. None of the staff wear any protective gear. No masks, no gloves, nothing. Only a few patrons were wearing masks and no one was social distancing or being asked to.

When I questioned this, let’s just say I was dressed down for suggesting they could control customers. I was told masks only give you 10% protection anyway so why bother?

That’s not necessarily true, but I bother, because my mask protects her and others in the store from me, if I am infected. I bother because I care about others and I don’t want people to die from my careless, selfish behavior. I have a moral obligation to do what I can to protect the most vulnerable among us. We all do.

A federal report details how one person without symptoms in Chicago, likely infected 15 people at two family gatherings, three of whom died of COVID-19.

If you shop at a business that does not respect your safety, please say something, and do not shop there until they do. We must all work together.


Lori Duchrow

Rhinelander



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