Varying opinions, perspective abound on protocol roll-back

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With a gradual roll-back comes a whole new sense of angst.
More than two months after stepping into this altered COVID-19 universe we’re living in, we now face a new challenge that has already begun to test our small-town sense of trust and communication. As anxious as we are to get back out there and start living our lives again, the reality is that some are far more comfortable with that notion than others.
First and foremost we continue to pray for those impacted by this potentially deadly virus, as well as those serving on the front lines providing vital healthcare services. Those working directly with patients who have tested positive for COVID, or for whatever reason have no choice but to put themselves at greater risk of exposure, obviously have a much different perspective on safety protocol.
Residents throughout Nebraska are slowly starting to go back to church, restaurants, hair salons and other venues, though Hamilton County, because of high case counts and related death numbers in the Central District Health Department, remains under stricter guidelines. That’s frustrating, but it is what it is.
Now that parts of our state and nation have begun to loosen social distancing restrictions, the potential for clashing opinions has skyrocketed. We’ve grown accustomed to seeing those conflicts unfold in the national media, where there is often a sort of a scorched earth “which side are you on” mentality, but there is growing potential for that to happen here at home as well.
We can all agree that we’re a long, long ways from what anyone predicts to be a return to some sense of normal, but this transition will be tricky. Our community, state, nation and world desperately need to get the wheels churning again and in the process we as individuals can play a positive role by respecting those varying points of view.
The reality is that even in a small crowd, perhaps including your friends, co-workers and members of your immediate family, there are likely significant differences of opinion on what is considered “safe, appropriate or necessary” behavior. Wearing a mask at the grocery store is a perfect example. We strongly encourage everyone to mask up out of respect for all, but notice each time we go that a majority of shoppers decline that option.
It’s important that we recognize and respect the varying levels of COVID impact and concern, erring on the side of caution, especially at the grocery store.
Kurt Johnson

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