Twenty years ago, our nation united to fight a common enemy after a savage attack which killed thousands of our citizens. We were bonded as we mourned those deaths and vowed to defeat the perpetrators. We willingly stood in airport lines for hours, removing our shoes, emptying our pockets, limiting our carry-ons to do our part to prevent another such attack.
A little over a year and a half ago, we again faced a common enemy - an invisible one. This time, however, the deaths of thousands by this insidious virus didn’t bond us together. Faced with a brand-new disease that we knew nothing about except that, as it continued its burning throughout our nation and the world, our best protection was wearing a face mask, washing our hands frequently, and keeping physically distant from others. Somehow this was too much for some people. They saw it as an usurpation of their freedom, giving the disease more time to spread and kill more people. To date 658,000 Americans have died, (over 800 of those being our fellow Wyoming citizens) with that number going up by 1,500 per day.
The Delta mutation sweeping through our state at twice the rate of the original is strictly non-partisan. It strikes rich, poor, old, young indiscriminately, and doesn’t care who you voted for. Now, armed with highly effective vaccines combined with masks, hand washing, and distance we can win the war against COVID-19. We can again come together to mourn the deaths of those we love and do what we can to protect each other in a non-partisan way. We can follow the guidelines of the people who have studied viruses for decades instead of the rants of YouTubers and bloggers who have no background in the subject.
Here in our county, there is a noisy contingent of people who believe that their freedom to go maskless and unvaccinated is more important than the lives of others in their community. Howard Stern ranted a few days ago that freedom to live is important, too. I couldn’t agree more! I’m tired of the whole pandemic, too, but the pandemic isn’t done with us. Please do your part to defeat this enemy: get your vaccines, mask up, wash your hands, and stay back from others when inside. The quicker we all do that, the quicker we can claim “Mission Accomplished.”