Readers’ Forum: 9/22/20

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Wearing masks leads to freedom

I tend to be more conservative than liberal about our freedom. It’s something that’s very important to me, and that’s why I support a mask mandate. I believe wearing masks will lead to greater freedom for the community, avoiding lots of difficult situations.

There is a lot more to a mask mandate than the death statistic. Hospital beds are in high demand, most people can’t afford to take two weeks off of work, and those with other conditions suffer severely from COVID.

We all want to get back to “normal” — going to school, work, parties — but we can’t until the virus is more under control. There are a lot of students traveling into Provo from around different areas. Masks protect those around us from getting sick, so if part of the community refuses to wear them, it doesn’t do as much good. Protesting for our freedom hurts the rest of Provo. I believe it is important to remember that there are lots of laws in place, including wearing seatbelts, that are to protect those around us. A mask mandate follows the same idea.

All it takes is one asymptomatic person to infect an entire crowd. If we care about our neighbors and want to return to “normal,” the best we can do at the moment is wear masks, social distance, and wash our hands.

Kayla Brooks
Battle Creek, MI

Responsible voting

At some point in a high school history class we probably all learned that the word “idiot” was derived from an Ancient Greek word referring to someone who didn’t vote. While it is true that educated people should be concerned with voting and as Americans we have a civic duty to participate in elections, I would argue that often we focus too much on simply getting people to show up and vote. The duty to vote does not begin and end at the voting booth, it is a lifelong attempt to educate ourselves.

Fortunately for us, nearly every American citizen has the right to vote but that does not necessarily mean that every citizen ought to vote. From taxes to traffic, almost every aspect of our lives will be affected by what names we select at the voting booth. Because of the far-reaching consequences of voting, it is important that we become as educated as possible before we take on that responsibility.

Making a decision solely on party lines or based on a sensational article that we read on social media is not enough. It takes effort to determine if those stories are true and if those candidates really represent what we think they do, but effort is part of the American Contract. The American system of government promises us freedom, but in return, we must promise to use that freedom responsibly. This contract applies to voting as well.

As Americans, we are blessed with the opportunity to have a representative government, but in order to keep this government we have to stay educated and become responsible voters, and when necessary, be responsible enough to recognize if we aren’t yet ready to vote. Remember, the only thing worse than the idiot who doesn’t vote is the idiot who does.

Berkeley Hurt
St. George, UT

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