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The last several weeks have changed the lives for all of us. The COVID-19 reality has created a storm of varying proportions worldwide.  For some, it’s more a time of forced catching up and slowing down, but for many others, it’s scary, disruptive and life-changing in disappointing and terrifying ways we never could have imagined even four months ago. 

For so many, the real loss of income, businesses, or lives is something we all should continue to be aware of. We are lucky to live in a community that is far from the dense cities, where COVID-19 is more active. We are lucky to have a town administration that is actively helping citizens cope. We have a dedicated police force, fire department and ambulance association, and our senior center, Suffield Community Aid and schools continue to provide services for those in need. 

There are individuals and small groups in town who are sewing masks and donating much needed supplies for medical use, and grocery shopping for some of our older residents. 

There are those who have done much to help lift the spirits of us “home-bound” people with drive-by parades, chalk drawings on sidewalks, picture taking on front steps, calls to friends and neighbors to check on how they’re doing, and Zooming with friends and family.

In the Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19 editionof the Journal Inquirer, there was an editorial by Petula Dvorak, writer for the Washington Post, about sacrifice. All over America, we are being asked to stay home, wear masks when we go out, stay well away from others and in general, think of others’ safety as well as our own when we must be away from our homes.

Dvorak writes of a man in Maryland who was angry with not being able to enter a rural feed store without a mask. His reaction was, “This is America. You can’t tell me what to wear.” Her position is that what defines an American right now are the sacrifices we are willing to make, and that this is the first time since WWII that we have been truly asked to sacrifice. Defying social distancing orders isn’t being American.  “Wearing a mask, staying at home, innovating, pivoting, doing what you can to keep people safe and working is American.” I would agree. 

I had never really thought of what we were being asked to do as a sacrifice. As Dvorak points out in her editorial, during WWII, nearly half a million Americans lost their lives, and while the fighting was going on, people at home supported them and went without for years. Wearing a mask, social distancing and doing what we can every day to support those in need around us in these uncertain times, seems pretty American to me. 

Beth Chafetz
Co-Editor in Chief

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