PRESS EDITORIAL: What we can do

Aside from the barely-above-freezing air temperature, some days last week seemed like summer at the Port Washington lakefront.

Individuals, couples and families—fathers, mothers, kids and dogs—were strolling on the walkways of Coal Dock Park and the Harborwalk, taking in the lake views, watching the ever-present fishermen doggedly trying their luck, chatting, smiling among themselves, but at a safe distance from others.

People were outside in large numbers in nearby communities as well, spending new-found time, with schools and many businesses closed, seeking the bracing refreshment of nature in a time of dread.

Life is changing in other ways too as people adapt to a reality the likes of which almost no living American has ever experienced.

Fear and frustration are expected, manifested in phenomena such as the surge in gun buying. The racks of gun shops have been all but emptied by customers buying weapons and stocking up on ammunition— as if the coronavirus could be killed by bullets.

 Like the hoarding of essential products, the run on guns derives from a compulsion to act in some way, however unlikely to be effective, in defense against a frightening menace.

That is understandable human nature, but the fact is that there is an effective weapon against this enemy: following the rules of what has come to be known as social distancing.

It is the one action we can all take that will make a difference. In the coming weeks and months, there will be opportunities—and the need—to act as groups of willing citizens, but at the moment, as ironic as it may seem, we can best help our communities by acting as individuals or small groups.    

For anyone who doesn’t know what the discipline of social distancing involves, there are numerous sources of accurate information and sound advice, including the CDC website.

Be wary of any sources that suggest the social distancing recommendations and the mandates of local, state or federal governments are overreactions and attempt to minimize the need for them.

Those who dismissed Covid-19 as the equivalent of the common cold, flu or highway fatalities have been exposed as the phoniest of charlatans by the brutal facts of the pandemic, yet their malign influence lingers.

Our great hope should be that one day we will be able to look back on these times and say we overreacted.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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