We are better than this


On September 11, 2001, the United States was attacked. Most of us older than 21 remember “9-11”. Roughly 3,000 of our fellow citizens died that day. We rallied to support those directly affected. It was a time of bi-partisan unity. People were willing to sacrifice personal freedoms to help the cause and keep us safe.

Doing some math the other day as I was preparing my prayers, it occurred to me that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had, so far in our country alone, the equivalent 30 “9-11”s – 97,000-plus dead from this single cause.

Something as simple as wearing a face-covering – a move (one of the few) that is proven to slow the spread of the disease – is too much of an infringement upon our “rights” for some people. To wear a mask is deemed “weak”. Yet, wearing a mask protects not the wearer but those who truly are “weak”, because of age or other infirmity.

Social (I prefer “physical”) distancing, and the use of masks, have become a badge of political affiliation.

What happened between 2001 and now?

As we try to recover from our initial efforts to mediate the coronavirus, it grieves me to go out (to do my weekly grocery shopping, for instance) and see how few of us care enough to protect each other from our exhalations.

I know we’re better than this. I pray we realize it.

Pastor Doug Campbell

ELCA, Retired