I share your hope, Andy. And I thank you for a sensible, inspirational article. This is the message Americans need to hear.

Sadly, where I live deep in rural Michigan Trump country, an alternative narrative prevails, one in which taking simple precautions is seen as an assault on liberty, and fighting the pandemic is an act of political disloyalty.

Partly this may be because the initial wave passed us by. Covid barely touched us all spring and summer. But that has changed, and our community hospital is beginning to struggle. County health authorities are warning us that we’re in for a rough time unless we get serious about precautions.

Tragically, most people seem to be ignoring those warnings, treating them as political propaganda rather than professional public health information.

Just about everyone I know opposes wearing masks in public. It’s very hard to understand given that the public health professionals telling us what’s going on live here too. They’re part of our community, in many cases with deep roots. Doctors and nurses who were born here and came back to practice here.

This is how tough the political situation is right now. I’m fortunate in that I have little reason to go out these days. But I’m genuinely frightened for my neighbors.

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