Thursday, May 28, 2020

Not Us Versus Them; It needs to be WE

I was driving to an appointment with my family and we had to make a few scheduled stops.  I saw many people not wearing masks. (Now, keep in mind people do not need to wear masks while practicing social distancing. I know you all know, but I digress.) The gas station even had a sign on their front entrance requiring all patrons to only enter if wearing masks. It was difficult to miss since you have to push on the sign to get through the door. Yes, there were people inside not wearing masks. Yes, some of those people mocked those of us wearing masks.

I found it ironic on Memorial Day weekend, a time to remember people who have died–not served– but died for our country there are people still putting their individual rights before the collective whole. You can wear a poppy on your lapel for a person who lost his/her life, but you can’t wear a mask to protect someone from actually dying? That doesn’t even make sense.

Later in the afternoon, I drove past a few people protesting from a pullover near a busy hiking trail. Yes, it was busy. Cars filled every spot and people were milling around without a mask in sight.  I noticed the written posters were aimed at sending people home, not about educating them. I did not stop to interview these people or find out who they were. It’s just my gut reaction as someone who lives here this was about “us” versus “them.”  Again, on Memorial Day weekend, I would have liked to see unity.

The signs directing people to go home, to turn around and not spread the virus, felt hostile to me. In my non-essential opinion, the reality is once people get here they aren’t turning back. I appreciate the protesters’ intentions, but not the targeted segregation. I would have rather seen signs stating, “Please keep my family safe, wear a mask” or “If you don’t live here, please consider donating to our hospital because there aren’t enough ventilators for this many visitors.” From what I’ve discovered the protesters were peaceful, respectful, and obeyed laws. Those are all worthy actions in a section of the world only at Phase One of an opening plan.

I’m conflicted as usual because I always feel education, not confrontation, is the answer. While grilling those burgers or relaxing out on the water, I hope everyone takes a moment to remember all the people who died in service protecting the weak and vulnerable. Now while enjoying the BBQ or bonfire please have a moment of silence for those people who have and will die because simple measures aren’t taken to prevent the spread of a virus.

Everyone has lost something during this pandemic, let’s not add more family members, neighbors, and acquaintances to the list. Besides wearing a mask looks good on you. It brings out the compassion in your eyes.

(reprinted with permission from Diane Chase’s Adirondack Daily Enterprise Family Time column)

Related Stories


Diane Chase

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.




38 Responses

  1. Pete Nelson Pete Nelson says:

    A-m-e-n, Diane. Divisions based upon fear are the ugliest part of our history. Education is essential.

  2. Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

    I so agree with your sentiments, but the fact of the matter is that you are trying to get people to come together while the supposed leader of the country drove a wedge further into the divide by playing golf on a Memorial Day and in the midst of a pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 Americans and placed 1 in 4 on unemployment roles. Many follow the singular self interested motivation displayed from this person. Difficult to bring a country together for the greater good when it is his job to initiate those efforts and he doesn’t do something as simple as taking the time to go place a wreath.

  3. ADKresident says:

    William, you discredited your own reply by feeding the division Diane so thoughtfully wrote in attempt to unite. (Thank you Diane) Throwing insults and personal opinions without facts (stating the President did not take the time to place a wreath, which is not true at all) is doing the very thing you are accusing others of doing. It’s time to reflect in the mirror before you deflect to the public while respecting those with differing opinions without accusation and condemnation. After all, diversity is NOT conformity and it takes more character to listen without judgement to differing opinions and engage in civil conversations as neighbors respectfully. Just saying.

    • Nora says:

      Amen to that ADKresident . Thank you Diane and I agree with your sentiments , I also found it amazing how many people never stopped to acknowledge what Memorial Day really means ,in my eyes it is not a happy event, it is remembering all those that gave their lives so we can enjoy the freedom this country has had . As for the two ladies who protested , this is not the feeling of those that live here in the North Country , I welcome anyone with open arms , I just ask that you social distant and wear a mask when necessary

  4. Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

    Just stated facts. The division cannot be healed from the bottom up without some work at the top. And, I am sorry, but I failed to see any laying of wreath by our current president. Got a report?

  5. Boreas says:

    I too feel William’s frustration. There can be no “WE” until people stop thinking only of themselves and their individual political views. This can only come from a good leader capable of uniting a wide range of people. We aren’t getting that – perhaps never had that. If leadership does not come from a president, do we rely on 50 different governors? Religion? Do we rely on our polarized news sources? If we want people to come together, then that needs to be an OVERREACHING message from ALL of government – not just lip service and playing to a polarized voter base.

    This president does not have empathy and refuses to lead (only react) – other than playing to his base (a minority) and the electoral college map in order to stay in power. He isn’t doing it to bring us together. His leadership by example only further compromises unity. He flouts his own guidelines and the guidelines of experts creating more confusion. This strategy only increases division – especially in a crisis. Encouraging armed demonstration (luckily peaceful so far) by not rebuking it? When was the last time he spoke of unity, tolerance, and the Golden Rule? He certainly doesn’t practice these tenets.

    I think we know by now this president will NEVER bring us together. We weren’t before the pandemic and won’t be even if the pandemic “disappears” tomorrow. It may not ever be possible – but at some point a leader needs to lead, or get out of the way and let someone else do it. Step down and perhaps the country will be capable of healing.

    • adkResident says:

      Frustration happens to all of us- I get it! But let’s stick with the subject at hand here-
      Unity, respect and how we treat others starts and ends with self. Are we going to blame our politicians and leaders for how we treat our neighbors? We have to own our own attitudes and toxic emotions and deal with them and not shift blame.. We will NEVER all agree on everything, let alone politically- that is just a fact, but it’s how we treat one another as neighbors in the midst of opposing views that makes us truly ONE, not all conforming to each other’s opinions, beliefs and political viewpoints. That would make us clones- which we are not. Are all those things important? Of course. But the bottom line is what we think and feel can never dictate HOW we treat those around us. Let us as neighbors, debate respectfully without disdain. and as a republic, take it to the voting booth in peace. And by all means, take personal responsibility for guarding our own hearts against animosity and hatred towards those with differing views- We just might see we end up agreeing more with each other than what we disagree! The choice begins not at the top, but from within. Be the example.

  6. Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

    Boreas, quite well communicated.

  7. Jack B says:

    Unity will never come from our leaders, history has already proven that. Unity has to come from us, and baised on some of the comments here, other places, and at least one incorrect assumption I don’t have any faith that it will ever happen. Just saying……

  8. Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

    ADK resident, I admit and apologize that I was wrong about the wreath placing. I did not see reports and worked off an assumption based on his past behavior. But I wear a mask in public when I cannot social distance. I am trying to do my part in unifying all of us to fight and defeat this virus, but I see many who are not in our very vulnerable community. And I believe that more can be done at the top to help give a good example to citizens. I do not see it happening and have a right to complain about that. How about the problem of residents and visitors alike who are not wearing masks in our communities? This is togetherness?

    • JohnL says:

      Apology not accepted. Based on past behavior???? He’s been at Arlington every year on Memorial Day since he was elected. I apologize for not letting this go, but I feel I have to. This misinformation has got to stop.

      • Jim S. says:

        Always willing to help, good for you Johnny!

        • JohnL says:

          Thanks Jimmie. I knew I could count on you to get it.

          • ADKresident says:

            Nice deflection from the original topic and the kind sentiment of Diane’ s original post which was a refreshing ray of sunshine among such strife. We get it, Charlie S., you hate President Trump and because of him and other leaders, according to you, we are not responsible for our own animosity therefore totally justified in treating our neighbors who don’t share our same views with disrepect, contempt and disdain. It’s unfortunate but you brought to light an understanding why some people, such as yourself are just irreconcilable and cannot accept others who see with a differing view no matter how kind you are as a neighbor. There will never be peace with that mindset because there will always be a reason for the disunity. Thanks for the clarification and explaining the motives behind why you cannot be friendly.

      • Bill Quinlivan William Quinlivan says:

        I was not talking about his activities on Memorial Day. I was referring to his general behavior which in my opinion is not befitting the office or its responsibilities to the country. However, it is becoming obvious to me that this blog is becoming a discussion at the Kool Aid stand, so I respectfully refuse to partake.

  9. ADKresident says:

    William, I appreciate your reply.
    I find it very encouraging news to hear from the CDC the virus does not stay or spread on surfaces like they once thought. That makes a big difference!
    I, too, wear a mask in public. However, I do not when outside running or working in yard and am careful to keep my distance for other’s sake. Being outdoors is good for the immune system, as well as staying positive and I can certainly understand that some have been couped up in a 500 sq ft studio apartment in the city for months needing some fresh air and sunshine without a mask- particularly if they are young and healthy! (Heck, I don’t know about you but I was 20, self- centered and stupid, once. wink 😉
    Some will never care about others or their well being but to those of us who do, like you and other concerned residents, that’s the best we can do to contribute to the community….JMO

  10. Scott says:

    Important clarification: Covid19 pandemic did not ” placed 1 in 4 on unemployment roles”, the governor”s economic shutdown made those millions unemployed.

  11. Pufferguns says:

    Thank you Scott for how and why who is to blame for NYS unemployment now.The Gov. failed us residents and continues to do so still. Like him or not our Prez did something no other recent leader could of done half as well.While upstate is still not open because of disdain from our Gov who can’t make a common sense decision while his daily feeble rhetoric on NYC puts us in the same boat.Our Prez wasn’t elected by “the minority” but by citizens who believe the US needed a change for the better. Strong leadership will make us stronger,less devastated by WHO,CCParty,etc.etc.Guns don’t kill people but citizens without them become sheeple

    • Steve B. says:

      “ Like him or not our Prez did something no other recent leader could of done half as well”

      Such as ?.

      Failing to recognize the danger the virus presented ?, calling it a hoax ? missing likely weeks in preparing the country ? which probably resulted in a few thousand needless deaths, telling the states they were on their own to find needed supplies for the hospitals ?. recommending improper use of medications ?.

      I’m not a Cuomo fan, but he hasn’t gone out and played golf while his citizens are dying. Such leadership !

  12. Zephyr says:

    Nice sentiment, but you’re not educating the knuckleheads not wearing masks. These are the same people that believe that 5G cell phone towers are spreading the virus, or they believe that Bill Gates wants a vaccine so he can inject microchips into people to control them. Or taking hydroxychloroquine is a cure. Unfortunately, our only hope is that the rest of us are extra careful and can avoid the knuckleheads so that we don’t get sick, and we may still be able to protect most people–even the ones who aren’t helping–if enough of us prevent the spread.

  13. TINA SIZING says:

    I truly appreciate the original post submitted by Diane Chase. I am a seasonal home-owner in the Adirondacks…already planning who will bring us groceries while we do a bit of self-quarantining upon our arrival. We WILL wear masks and continue to social distance. It saddened me to see that the responses became, once again, politically driven. If people have to rely on governmental directives to keep themselves and others safe during this terrible time, then they are living in the wrong country. Living in the Lower Florida Keys..we have been so proud of how almost everyone has demonstrated their CONSIDERATION OF OTHERS by willing wearing masks and social distancing…that is until June 1st when our one road in re-opens to tourists…and we are all afraid!

  14. Pufferguns says:

    NYC and NJ residents have been coming and going since 3 weeks before “shutdown” was implemented and still every day since.Wake up…Gov. C. never reacted to or enforced the shut down well after the spread. He is a lib/dem leech who now has changed his mind twice about upstate opening within last 24 hrs.Prez shutdown the China Virus border immediately and was attacked by Pelosi and Schumer…ok go to China town all good!!
    If you want over 5,000 deaths visit a nursing home thanks. Gov should be in jail! Rensselaer Co. is first to open without the bow of are failed Govs crown.Renss. Co is the first to open thanks to Steveve McLaughlin!!!.

  15. Charlie S says:

    Pufferguns says: “Our Prez wasn’t elected by “the minority” but by citizens who believe the US needed a change for the better. Strong leadership will make us stronger.”

    There’s a lot of ignorant citizens in this country Pufferguns! Trump relies on them for support and I don’t say that as a partisan jab I say it because me speakum truth which history will prove long after all of his damage, and hopefully long before he is gone.

  16. Charlie S says:

    ADKresident says: “Are we going to blame our politicians and leaders for how we treat our neighbors?”

    You mean our politicians who drop bombs on other nations and call it collateral damage whereas when others do the same it’s called terrorism? Is that who you mean ADK? How about our present leader who stokes division every chance he gets which is just about every day these past three years. It that who you mean ADK? We could surely use some good role model public figures which wouldn’t hurt, and maybe even might improve, matters among our fellow brothers and sisters ADK!
    arwIf it is then yes, our government leaders are a reflection of the whole, or a

    • ADKresident says:

      Hopefully this showed up in right reply this time…sorry about that JohnL.. meant for CharlieS.

      Nice deflection from the original topic and the kind sentiment of Diane’ s original post which was a refreshing ray of sunshine among such strife. We get it, Charlie S., you hate President Trump and because of him and other leaders, according to you, we are not responsible for our own animosity therefore totally justified in treating our neighbors who don’t share our same views with disrepect, contempt and disdain. It’s unfortunate but you brought to light an understanding why some people, such as yourself are just irreconcilable and cannot accept others who see with a differing view no matter how kind you are as a neighbor. There will never be peace with that mindset because there will always be a reason for the disunity. Thanks for the clarification and explaining the motives behind why you cannot be friendly.

      • Charlie S says:

        I don’t hate him I feel sorry for him ADK! I feel sorry for all of the suffering due to his policies, many of which you surely are not aware of. “We” are responsible for our actions, but, as you well know, some people are irresponsible and having a leader who stokes their dysfunction does not help matters. We’re all unique in our own ways ADK, all different, no two alike….but there’s smart and there’s the other as is evident by what we see and hear and read daily.

        “such as yourself are just irreconcilable and cannot accept others who see with a differing view ”

        Depends on what their views are ADK! You are right about that. I think….. O’ what does it matter anyway what I think! Hey ADK?

        • ADKresident says:

          “Depends on what their views are ADK! You are right about that. I think…: Well, at least you are honest about it, Charlie. I respect that! But please don’t cry foul on others for stoking division when you yourself are doing the same thing you condemn. Just saying.

  17. Charlie S says:

    Pufferguns says: Wake up……Gov. C…. He is a lib/dem leech…. Prez shutdown the China Virus border immediately…

    Okay so we get your partisan stance Puffer and that you don’t like liberals, or democrat politicians, but to come on here and produce a lie, or a partial truth, such as above (Prez shutdown…) that don’t justify anything other than your partisan stance and that you don’t like liberals. There’s a lot of this going around and until we start thinking for ourselves and not relying on propaganda….there’s no hope for any of us….right or left, red or blue, ignorant or intelligent.

    • Boreas says:

      Pufferguns,
      Trump “shut down” the China border (only for non-USA citizens), but left Europe open for thousands of flights. And where did those flights land? NY and NJ. See any connection there? The outbreak in NYS was determined to be primarily from Europe. Can’t blame Cuomo for international travel bans that were instituted too late.

  18. Hi all, just a head’s up that I removed a post that was attacking the author and the subsequent two posts that responded to him.

    • Charlie S says:

      I’m a little skeptical about deleting posts unless they were very out of bounds rude-wise. Of course I don’t know which posts they were……

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.

Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.