My friend Carol and I voted today in Springfield at the Carew Street Boys and Girls Club. There was excitement in the air. The staff and police officer were friendly and professional. It felt good to exercise our right to vote without all the drama in the news present in the room. Voting is a right and a duty and we all should fulfill our duty.

Given that, we in Massachusetts were told today by our governor to implement some new rules for COVID-19. Mask all the time in public whether outside or inside. Sadly, this one bothers me as I walk, unmasked, two miles in the morning and encounter maybe five people during the walk who all carefully walk six feet away. I will abide by these rules although I find it personally difficult. Other rules on people gathering limits were mandated. Restaurants and bars must close by 9:30 pm. They will abide also. One question is: will this do the trick of preventing further outbreaks of the virus? We don’t know. I don’t think those in the know, know. However, to save your life and my life, I think I will comply. Later we will learn what worked and what didn’t work.

I do ask the question. Given these restrictions, why aren’t all schools closed? Why only some? What cost is there to our children in closing schools? Business must open or society at all levels, particularly at lower economic levels, will suffer. If business opens, then how do we protect the family to whom the worker returns each day? We can’t fully. Young people in my area gather and often. They cannot be policed and I doubt they will allow policing; instead, it is probably they will find many alternate places to gather when run off by the police from one place . The big question is with ‘so many holes in the dike, can the little Dutch boy plug them all? The virus will expand until it is through with its business. We must learn to live with it without extraordinary fear. Cleanliness is the only real answer until there is a medical breakthrough that is both safe and available to all.

K. B. Pellegrino, Author

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