Op/Ed

Editorial: Starved for social interaction?

THE TRUCKS CRESTING a hill in Ferrisburgh's Clang and Bang parade last week.

The Clang and Bang Ferrisburgh parade is testament to how starved Vermonters are for social interaction. That it makes front-page news in today’s paper is also testament to how big a deal the restrictions imposed by our Covid-19 world are and how vulnerable those restrictions are. 
The bright side of that story is what’s captured in the joy of simply banging pots and pans when a string of cars, trucks and fire engines drive past sparsely scattered homes on 10 rural roads in Ferrisburgh. Such simple joys in our daily lives are missed and any excuse to celebrate is embraced with gusto.
The slippery slope of that same story is the desire to interact socially before this novel coronavirus is defeated. The parade, of course, is safely done and a needed dose of fun. But other incidents that have come to light recently — big crowds at a local outdoor restaurant in which large numbers of folks are not practicing any measure of social distancing, or large crowds at hiking venues — must be reconsidered by the individuals taking part. It’s the responsibility of each individual to monitor the risks they take and to assess the risks they pose to others.
We’ve all overheard people who regard such restrictions as a “government infringement of personal rights,” only not so politely said. But they miss the point. We social distance and wear masks not because the government tells us to, but because we care about our family, friends, neighbors and others who may be vulnerable to the disease. 
The good news continues to be Vermont’s ability to lower the curve. Just this Tuesday there was only one new reported case of Covid-19 in the state, and of the 150 positive cases, very few are hospitalized. But we also know it will resurface and until a vaccine is developed and widely used, we’ll have to stay vigilant.
In that interim, we’ll need to adopt a looser form of social distancing as a way of life, while also re-opening our economy. There will have to be a lot of give-and-take in that mutual understanding — it’s not all about the economy, nor is everyone’s health so all important that the rest of society falls apart. Vermonters have done well in this first round of the fight and that bodes well going forward.
Angelo Lynn
 

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