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Emilie M. Townes

A new year. 

Possibilities lie before us as question marks of hope and dire warnings of dismay. We have become a nation that wonders when this pandemic will end and how many more people will die before we get a handle on what we all must do to wrestle the pandemic into an epidemic—something though onerous and life-threatening, can often be addressed by medical intervention and the wise choices we seek to make when choosing our health—and remembering that we are also choosing to take care of the health of others

This is what I find most troubling about the ways in which the ‘rona is holding on. Too many of us continue to treat this as a strictly personal decision to mask, to physically distance, to get vaccinations, to get the booster. Yes, there are some medical conditions that may prevent or make it ill-advised to be vaccinated and boosted. But masking? Distancing? These are sacrifices and inconveniences that we can and must do to help cripple the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus and its variants. This is a pandemic of the nation—we the people. And it will begin to ebb when we remember that we were founded, as a nation as we the people not as a group of individuals hoping to create a nation out of their personal desires, wishes, and biases.

We must work together to end what is looking more and more like a curse.


Emilie M. Townes
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

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