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On Being Together

Over and over again, I have heard people saying that they “needed a change of scenery” or that the way we were doing life during quarantine “wasn’t sustainable.” While this is true to a certain extent, here in South Carolina, the travel and the unwillingness to wear masks is having devastating effects. Our case numbers are rising, more people are dying, and our medical professionals are being taxed to unnecessary extremes. Other states are asking people who have visited South Carolina, to quarantine for 14 days because the rate of increase is so steep.

All because we “needed” to get out and go somewhere.

Molly Spearman announced this week that if we in South Carolina continue not to wear masks as we go about our business, then there is no way that schools will be able to meet in person in the fall. Quarantine helped to flatten the curve, but it did not make COVID disappear. Our inability to wait and change our practices is having a terrible consequences. We are no longer at the point where this is a disease that impacts “the grandmas.” “Since April 4, data from the agency shows that there has been a 413.9% increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases among the 21-30 age group.”

It is much easier to close our eyes and pretend things are the same as they always have been. It is much easier to cling to things that say, “We go to the beach every summer,” and “our policy has always been,” but this unwillingness to change will indeed harm others.

It is harming others.

The question is will we continue to harm others? Will we finally wrestle with the truth that our actions impact others? Will we finally look at ourselves in the mirror and confront our short-sightedness?