There’s a lot more of us out and about, a lot less mask-wearing and less social distancing too. It’s understandable. We’ve had this enormous helping of cabin fever heaped on us these past few months.

Now, with the beckoning summer weather and the various pronouncements of loosening restrictions, we‘re like a herd of dementors at a Quidditch match, just can’t help but reclaim our rightful norm.

The current push-back against the safe-at-home orders, mask-wearing and social distancing, is understandable. No one wants to be told what they can and can not do. Some are quick to see any-and-all rules by any-and-all authorities as trampling on our freedoms. It’s easy for the rest of us to fall in behind them, especially when the sun is shining and all we want is to be outside with others.

Some say the risk was overstated, the peak, not so bad. They don’t see the peak was not so bad because we did such a great job of shutting down and spreading out. It’s hard for a fire (Covid-19) to propagate when the trees (all of us) have spread out.

Now, with the rush back to normalcy we are bringing the trees close together again, easier for the fire to rage on. Some say “I don’t care” going into crowded spaces not wearing a mask. “If I get Covid I can beat it”. They’re not thinking (or choose to ignore) the possibility that they may be carrying the virus and infecting others.

Most of us slow down when driving by a school. We hold open doors for others. We help in little ways when we see the little needs throughout our day. This is human decency, and we’ve seen a lot of it, in many novel ways, these days.

In our day to day lives, we take into account risks. We mitigate risk by adopting little habits, wearing a seat-belt, slowing down in school zones. As the fires of Covid smolders, and we begin to venture out to reconnect as a community, revive our economy, and savor our culture, why would we not do what we can to mitigate risk?

If we value all others in our community, especially those who are at higher risk (the ill, the elderly, and the children), why would we not slow down, wear a mask, and maintain a respectful distance? Is this too great a sacrifice?

Steve Heuer

Town of Verona