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Do better protecting each other

The “personal liberty” vs. “for the good of society” debates that have been endemic to the epidemic surely puzzle me.

Think of our parents (grand-parents to me) as part of the “Greatest Generation” (born ’10-’24) and how they approached the challenges and hardships of the Great Depression and World War II; they pitched-in and did what was required to survive and succeed. They worked whatever job was available to support the family in the lean times of the Depression, working migrant farm labor if needed. In war, young men enlisted in the military en masse to join the fight against the existential threat, women became “Rosie the Riveters” to keep supplies and the economy running. They rationed gasoline, only allowed to obtain fuel on designated days — and only so much. They recycled toothpaste tubes (made of lead at the time) to supply raw materials to the effort. No effort was too small and nothing overlooked for the common good.

Yet, here we are: the “Silent Generation” (’25-’45) and “Baby Boomers” (’46-’64) — and our youngers — and we have displays of individualism and rebellion against measures to benefit our own society. All that is being asked is we wear a mask, keep our distance and forgo group gatherings.

Perhaps we don’t respect our leaders (I can certainly see a justifiable basis), but we should value and respect ourselves. What is asked of most of us is such a small sacrifice in the scheme of things.

Could we rise to meet the hardships of previous generations? I see little evidence currently that we could.

Think of our front-line workers and first responders at the least. We can do better; we must do better.

Jeff DeVol

Williamstown

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