Letter: Respect our community

While we are all adjusting to the sudden changes COVID-19 has wrought, we must also be mindful of how our choices affect those around us, inadvertently or otherwise. 

In the past week, the private road I live on has seen an alarming infusion of people of all ages coming out for some needed exercise. These include bikers, runners, people walking dogs, typically off leash, etc. Some drive out of town to avoid the crowds, then park, unfortunately bringing to us what they are trying to escape.

However, in these very neighborhoods most of us are self-isolating, and plenty of at-risk people find our own regular walking areas being compromised by this uninvited wider public use. I have not seen a soul wearing a mask, for example, even those breathing hard cycling uphill, then zooming full speed back down our winding paved road.

Some state guidelines are now suggesting a minimum of 27 feet distancing due to uncertainties about airborne transmission, including dispersal from asymptomatic people shedding the virus everywhere they go. Seeing others so hapless about others’ health is disconcerting and disappointing.

We cannot know what others are enduring, and especially now, many cannot bring loved ones nearer or go to them. A friend just lost her mother and cannot even prepare or attend a funeral, for one example, and I personally haven’t been to the grocery store in several weeks now.

Also, veterinarians are saying we must not let dogs mingle with others, since though it isn’t thought they can contract the disease, they can carry the infective virus on their fur for a period of time — perhaps days. It isn’t clear if they can shed it in feces. Our beloved dogs live indoors with us so it is on us to keep them “socially distant” from other dogs and people for the next month or so.

However, there seems to be little recognition of this basic expedient today. We must do better than this.

If you’re not sick, great. Let’s keep that standard for us all. Respect costs nothing but benefits all who share this time and place with us, especially those on the frontlines of handling this health care crisis. 

I’m convinced this trial will bring out the worst and the best of human nature. Which will it be for you?

Nancie McCormish
South Routt

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