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Letter to the editor: What I have learned during the pandemic

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A yard sign on Court Court in Coralville. April 18, 2020. — Emma McClatchey/Little Village

By Charlene Lange, Iowa City

What I have learned so far during this pandemic.

1. Immigrant workers are essential for our well-being, from picking our vegetables and fruits, to cleaning our groceries stores and business, to processing our meat, to taking care of our elderly, to nurses and doctors (one in four doctors are immigrants).

2. The isolation during the Great Depression, Dust Bowl and World Wars is not happening if you have cellphones and internet.

3. A pandemic does not automatically create people or politicians with common sense or brains.

4. Many people are stepping up, changing their ways of living and putting themselves and their families lives at risk, while others are ignoring, digging into their own self-interest and actively working on worst practices, putting all at risk.

5. This virus is new. So much is unknown. I will continue to follow best practices as outlined by WHO and our scientists. I do not know if I am a carrier. I do not know who is a carrier. I do not want to be responsible for others catching it or them feeling responsible for my death.

6. Risk/reward. Everything I do is done with this in mind. Is what I am doing worth the risk of me or others, from truckers to nurses to delivery people, catching the virus?

7. If hundreds of thousands of sick people and thousands of deaths do not cause people to change and keep us all safe, what chance is there to save ourselves, our homes, our ecosystems, our land, and our water from effects of climate change?

I will continue to stay in place, send emails, make phone calls, and learn how to Zoom to spread the word of common sense and best practices. Please find the courage and hope to do what you can for those in need, stay connected to others, use common sense, change, keep all safe, use risk/reward philosophy, wear masks and take care.


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