In the 1400s in England and France, the bubonic plague reduced the rural population so much that some small towns disappeared and farms went back to forest. I don’t think the COVID-19 pandemic is going to turn Union County into a wilderness, but if our communities are going to survive to thrive again another day, we need more community, not less. This means occasionally doing as we are told, even if it’s coming from a politician we disagree with on policy issues.

Wearing a mask in public places is not a policy issue or political statement. It is a proven and necessary measure we all need to do to reduce transmission of this disease in our community. The mask is less to protect ourselves and more to protect those around us from possible infection. This makes it an actual physical manifestation of our shared community, our caring for one another.

Now more than ever we all need to work together (indivisible) to break this chain of disease transmission. This means wear a mask, wash our hands and maintain some physical distance from others.

Dave Felley

La Grande

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