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Editor, The Beacon:

We’ve seen all kinds of reactions to deal with COVID-19. When I say reactions, I mean actions that sometimes don’t make sense or may prove to be counterproductive. Every one of them is based upon the perspective of an individual, as well as that individual’s own opinions and attitudes.

Somewhere along the progression of this pandemic, an irrational stereotyping of anyone who voiced contrary thoughts and opinions to the mainstream has taken place. This has accomplished nothing but division, and does not help us to achieve the ultimate goal of surviving the pandemic.

We have to respect the rights and choices of others. So long as our expressed thoughts and actions do not infringe upon the rights of others, we’re OK. It’s when those attitudes become actions that threaten the freedoms of others that we venture into troubling waters.

For example, in the Sept. 23-29 edition of The Beacon, a letter-writer put forth several questions about the right of individuals wearing a mask to be safe. The answers were all obviously yes.

It is our privilege by living in this country to have all of these rights and more. We have to, however, realize that with these rights and freedoms there comes an equal responsibility.

We are free to isolate ourselves from others and do everything practical to keep ourselves safe. We all have the same rights, but it has to go both ways. People also have the right to not wear a mask, if that is their choice.

In the process of expressing ourselves, we must not ostracize and discriminate against others. This, unfortunately, has been the case too often in the media these days. We shouldn’t be branding or stereotyping people. Historically, that practice was carried out when our nation openly accepted segregation, and we’re still trying to overcome the bigotry and racism it produced.

In the 1930s, there were horrible results when people were once again discriminated against. We shouldn’t be doing the same today as a result of COVID-19.

There are lots of reasons why people make the choices they do, and it’s frankly none of our business why, so it’s wrong to pass judgment on them.

Accurate information also isn’t always easily available. There are verified reports of double-vaccinated and even booster-receiving people getting COVID-19 and dying from it. Reports are also out there of adverse reactions that are not being widely and readily aired to the public. There are claims of skewed-number reporting of cases and deaths caused by COVID-19.

At the same time, we are getting contradictory advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Add to all of this the misinformation and disinformation being spread out there; it’s only natural for someone to have questions, especially when it comes to children.

Going forward, none of this is going to get better if we keep vilifying and excluding others because they may think differently than us. It hasn’t worked in the past, and it doesn’t promise good outcomes. To survive this pandemic as a united nation, we must not let fear override our rational choices and actions.

Larry French

Deltona

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