To the editor: When I saw the photo taken at the boat rally in Rock Hall on Sept. 26 — in the Oct. 1 edition of this newspaper — I wasn’t surprised to see people congregating without masks or social distancing, but I was flabbergasted to read that officials Jay Jacobs, Dawn Jacobs and Bob Jacob hosted and participated in an event where American flags flew alongside flags reading “-- — your feelings.”

Is this really what it’s degenerated to?

Wearing a mask has nothing to do with anyone’s feelings; it’s a means of slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus so that we can minimize the number of sick and dying American citizens until a safe vaccine becomes readily available.

With cooperation and concern for each other’s health, especially given the fact that people without symptoms can inadvertently be spreading the virus, life can begin to return to normal. The economy can begin to recover.

Yes, it means temporarily changing some of our behaviors and even giving up some of the freedoms we’re accustomed to. But, stupid defiance in the face of science only perpetuates the division that politicizing a national health crisis has brought us.

Your freedom doesn’t include the right to make anyone else sick. I wear a mask to protect you and you wear one to protect me.

Every day people are out there risking their lives so we can live in freedom, but there’s a group of “patriots” that can’t even muster up the courage to wear a mask because they’re afraid it would make them look weak.

Behavior is also a virus and we are going to suffer much greater loss of life, property and economic hardship if the virus of intolerance, hatred, ignorance and selfishness prevail. No one “wins” if we truly end up a divided nation.

So, when you put your hand over your heart and silently say the Pledge of Allegiance and cherish the words and believe in that America, that’s a start. That’s what so many have fought and died for.

If we’re not dreaming and aspiring to that Dream of America together, we may well find ourselves in an unrelenting nightmare asking, “How did it come to this?”

Ronni Diamond

Galena

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