As an emergency physician, I’m willing to make sacrifices to protect the health and safety of my community. I count on others to make sacrifices to keep themselves, their contacts, and my family safe. The skepticism about the existence of and/or the seriousness of coronavirus is beyond exasperating, but especially so when it comes from our own elected officials and candidates for higher office.
Representatives in the Wisconsin Legislature have been going door to door in communities across our area without so much as wearing a mask and speaking at large gatherings that are also free of masks. They could be carrying the coronavirus themselves or causing its spread through those at their gatherings. I understand that they and their supporters are fatigued by the isolation of social distancing, but this summer has made it clear that we will be dealing with COVID-19 most likely for years, rather than weeks.
We owe it to each other to take this seriously, even if we don’t know someone who has died. We don’t know who we pass this disease to and who they pass this disease to. We don’t know which people will become severely ill or die from this. I take a great deal of precautions to avoid spreading COVID from my family to my patients and my patients to my family, and I hope my elected leaders would do the same.
Other legislators are not asking volunteers to attend large events, knocking on doors, or even holding in-person fundraisers. They prioritize our health and safety as more important than fundraising deadlines -- or any election.
I support the elected officials that are acting responsibly both as leaders and members of our community.