I am a 64-year-old woman whose family going back many generations was born and raised in Vermont. I care about Vermont, and I care about its people.
For the last nine weeks, my husband and I have been isolating in our home. He goes out periodically to the grocery store or to run other necessary errands and always wears a mask and gloves. I have not gone out in public during the nine weeks and have only ventured out in my vehicle on four occasions for short drives to get out of the house and look at the spring scenery on sunny days.
I've been reading articles about people tattling on others who aren't doing what they feel is appropriate to the point where guidelines are being set based on complaints.
Wednesday, I was in my vehicle coming home from about a 12-minute ride with my windows rolled up, all by myself. I was in an area where I had to go very slow for pedestrians and other vehicles. I was passing a vehicle going the other way on the road that had just stopped to make a turn. The woman in that vehicle was ready with her window down and when I drove by, began shaking her fist at me, then pulling her mask down over her nose a little bit shouted, "you should be wearing a mask." I couldn't hear what else she said because my vehicle was moving away from her. She is clearly very fearful to the point of lashing out at others. But come on, I was alone in my vehicle with my windows rolled up. I'm not aware of a guideline that says I have to wear a mask in my vehicle. Do you wear a mask in your vehicle? Do you wear a mask in your home? I have no doubt that if I was stopped and she were a pedestrian passing by, I would have been subject to further abuse. Honestly, people like that scare me more than the coronavirus.
Who is she or anyone else to tell people we're not doing the right thing when they haven't met us, know nothing about us and have no idea what our life has been like the last two months? Why is it that, not only with this virus but so many other things today, if we don't conform to the way other people think and want things to be, we are singled out as bad and in the wrong?
Based on my experience that day and things I read, it's quite probable that the more we are isolated, the further this social melting pot could tip in a wrong, very harmful direction if we aren't careful with our personal liberties, our public consciousness and perhaps, most importantly, applying common sense.
I would like to know if people think we're creating an atmosphere of hope and safety. Or are we living in fear, which is creating anger and bad will. I have to believe there are probably other stories out there like mine, but we only see the flip side where people are tattling. Perhaps they don't know the whole story.
Patricia Wells lives in Brookfield.