Let’s fight for each other, not each other

As I write this column, we find ourselves as a city in hopeful but difficult times. But whatever circumstances we face, I’m sure we’ll collectively speak up and demonstrate what makes this city so special – it’s the people.

We are living in hopeful days as we see our oil and gas industry start to thrive again. There is new energy in the fields and people are going back to work. Businesses are reopening and the pace of life is accelerating. We begin to have the impression of entering a new and better normal.

We are living in hopeful days as our schools reopen and the children return to class. Our educators who worked under unprecedented circumstances last year are stepping up once again to guide the spirit of the most critical element of our future – our children.

But, even as we glimpse a new and better future, we face a now-familiar old enemy in COVID-19. I’m sure I don’t have to revisit variant news and what’s going on across the country, state, and within our city. But maybe I can take a few more minutes of your time and look to cheer you on in what I think we can do together again in this next season of challenges.

Like 2020, I am convinced that the greatest weapon for the good that we have as a city is our concern for each other. When we faced previous flare-ups in 2020, we galvanized our collective will and supported each other. In the end, we “curved the curves” and served our fellow citizens and we made a better day. And now, at the end of summer 2021, we see ourselves in another fight with an old nemesis who likes to dress in new clothes and go after us. So what can we do?

First, no matter how loud the various national opinions, mandates and policies are, I hope you will consult your doctor and family and make the vaccination decision that you think is the right one. Additionally, while making a personal health decision, let’s choose not to demonize or label anyone who makes a different decision than we assume they should be making. There will come a day when we return to the raging national debate we have embarked on regarding immunization status and realize that we could have done so in a more reasonable and honorable way. Let us choose the reasonable and honorable path today right here in Midland.

Second, let’s continue to honor the most vulnerable among us and be aware of our surroundings as we continue on a healthy path. If you feel like you need to wear a mask, then wear a mask. If you feel you want people to wear masks in your business, ask people to wear masks in your business. And, whatever the personal or professional choice regarding masks, let us remember that it is our compatriots in the Midlands who make their best personal decision. Let us honor the personal choice of the other.

Third, let’s continue to offer our support and prayers to those on the front lines of our healthcare in what must seem like an endless battle through the ups and downs of COVID. Our support can come from public and private praise as well as from careful consideration of the practices and decisions described above. Ultimately, we are all Midland Health by the choices we make and the habits we form. The more we each choose to care for ourselves in consultation with our doctors and families, the more we can serve our collective health in Midland and our health care providers who continue to stand guard on the front line.

Finally, let’s continue to fight for each other and not against each other, which seems so prevalent across the country. Most of you have been on the front lines trying to work from home or return to the office. Or maybe you’ve worked in a grocery store all the time and this whole pandemic has started, serving on the front line of supply. Or maybe you are a parent who has unwittingly learned to home school. Or maybe you are a small business owner who burns the candle at both ends to make the payroll and find a way out of the other side of the past year and a half. Either way, we’re all sort of on our own front lines so let’s fight for each other and not against each other and do what we’ve done before … take care and respect- us each other with great vigilance, security and sacrifice.

About Aaron Humphreys


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