The COVID pandemic is an ongoing test for our community. Particularly here in Hopkinton, despite the challenges, our community pulled together and has done the right thing throughout this trial. We are wearing the masks, we are getting vaccinated at the highest rates in the nation, we have done our best to keep everyone safe. That is why it was so deeply disappointing to hear some of the testimony regarding optional masking in our schools.
In essence one of the arguments put forth was, “My family is vaccinated. We are safe now. Masking is hard. We want to stop. The risk to others is their problem.” This argument ignores that the vaccine is not yet available to everyone, specifically children under 5. My own children are 8 and 11, and I remember how hard it was waiting for their turn. Yes, the risk was lower, but what if they had some weakness we didn’t know about?
If the Department of Health determines the science says the risk is low enough, then let’s make masking in school optional. But, “I’m safe now. Your risk is not my problem,” is not the way to keep our community strong.
Just like Rick and Dick Hoyt in the Boston Marathon, especially when it’s hard, it’s what we do to help and elevate those who need it most that makes this a wonderful place to live and raise a family. Let’s not forget that guiding principle when the going gets tough — and no doubt these have been tough times. Let’s hope brighter days are ahead for us all.
— Aaron Townsley, Hopkinton
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