Everything feels so distant, here in the middle of the middle of the country. It’s something to reflect on after the week the nation has experienced: a terrible new milestone in COVID-19 deaths, political outbursts, and riots.
Coronavirus has made it here, but the scale of infection feels so small compared to elsewhere in the country, it hardly feels different from any other flu year.
And, while politics is heating up around the country, here in the middle of the middle, we remain mostly conservative, mostly Republican, and our involvement continues to be focused on local politics, while national politics is simply fodder for social media.
Another man was killed this week by a police officer. This one was caught on video by several witnesses. Some of us have seen the videos, some have not. After reviewing several of them, one can only conclude the treatment George Floyd received was extreme, uncalled for, and his death was unjust.
The rest of the country is erupting, and we do not envy them.
It’s times like these that it’s not so bad to be somewhat isolated in our “social bubble,” but it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that even though these events don’t directly touch our everyday lives, we are still part of what is happening in the world.
The novel coronavirus is real, and some of our neighbors have contracted it, suffered through it, and survived. It’s not a walk in the park, so let’s keep doing what we can to keep ourselves and each other safe. It feels good to be able to interact more, but keep in mind those who have health concerns that prevent them from getting out until there is a vaccine to ward off the disease. There is no call to criticize each person’s individual decisions about mask wearing, hygiene, or who or how many people they feel comfortable being around. We just need to be caring and considerate of others.
There will be an election later this fall. Rather than focusing on which side we choose, let’s support one another in the decision to vote, and make that our cause. If it’s in advance, by mail or in person on election day, let’s all vote, and let the chips fall where they may.
And as for the questions of racism and police brutality, we know what’s right and what’s wrong. Earlier this week, a list circulated on our social media feeds, by Corinne Shutack. It’s full of common sense things we can do, even from here in the middle of the middle, to make the world a better place for all people of all colors. You can find it, (https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234), at Medium.com.
In the middle of the middle, we pride ourselves on common sense. Every day, we can choose to treat one another with justice, dignity and grace. This shouldn’t be up for debate.