Letter: A small group of committed citizens can change the world | Letters to the Editor

I was very interested in the “local control” policy proposed by the school board, in particular how it would apply to the wearing of face masks. So I went to the February 14 meeting.

I walked away very shaken. Not by the school council meeting. It was good, as always, very professional and very organized. No, what shook me was the hour-long “open mic” session that followed the actual meeting.

I guess I lived in my head and my bubble too much and didn’t experience the “real” world we live in today.

It makes me very sad that Covid seems to have divided our small town into camps much like gang “crips” and “bloods.” Except now we don’t use red and blue to show our allegiance, we wear masks or we don’t. Those of us who wear masks have the battle cry of “science”. Those of us who don’t have the battle cry of “freedom.”

I am in the “science” group of wearing a mask. For me, it is an obvious moral and scientific choice.

I absolutely believe that the New Testament maxim “Love your neighbor as yourself” is a compelling reason to wear the mask.

For my science, I rely on “Scientific American.” I discovered the magazine 55 years ago when I was a student. This is a publication totally dedicated to the central principle of science, “Question everything and accept nothing without verifiable evidence”.

My group is opposed by what I call the “disinformation mafia”, those who oppose the wearing of masks because it infringes on their freedom. Several of them spoke when given a turn at the microphone.

One warned of the dangers of wearing a mask because it causes us to breathe in too much carbon dioxide. I guess no one warned the millions of people in the medical and dental field who wear masks all the time.

Another urged us to look at both sides of the issue. He said some get their “science” from CNN and others from Fox. You don’t get the “science” of cable news, you get a carefully calibrated message designed to tell you what you want to hear, excite you, and inflate their ad revenue. He made no mention of the assessment of evidence and ended up saying “do what you want”.

I’d like to think the open-mic session accomplished something, but I don’t think it has. Everyone was ready to make statements, but there was no dialogue.

Without dialogue, I believe we are doomed to remain in our camps of resentment and mistrust. I’m afraid our sense of unity is slipping away. What a tragedy!

I am willing to risk a dialogue in the hope that we can reconcile some of our differences. Contact Jim Heffernan at [email protected]

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever existed.

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