A Secular Childhood: Letters to My Daughter – no.20 “Learning from a Pandemic”

We’ve reached the end of the road! This will be my last letter for a while as I am hoping to start fresh with new ideas and posts in January.

Happy New Year, everyone! Stay safe!


Dear daughter,

In 2020, you turned four years old, and the Covid-19 pandemic has brought the world to its knees. Some countries fared better than others; the US was not one of them. As I write this on a cool and windy September night, 207,000 Americans have lost their lives to the virus.

I’m not saying all of those deaths could have been prevented, but there are very simple ways to slow the spread of the virus that many Americans are ignoring. Had our leaders expressed the seriousness of the outbreak and put mask mandates in place sooner, some of those we lost may still be alive. 

Masks are a very simple thing people can do to respect and care for others in their community. So simple. Scientists and medical professionals have been stressing the use of masks since the beginning of the pandemic, and yet some people refuse to wear them. Some argue it’s infringing on their personal freedoms.

When there’s a public health crisis, your “personal freedoms” take a back seat and you think about how to protect your family and community. This is a dire time and we wish we could return to some sense of normal, but for that to happen we have to think of our community as a whole. Even if you don’t like masks, wear it to protect others and because it’s the right thing to do.

Dear daughter — you probably won’t remember this time in history, but you’re here — you’re living it. This time has taught me to think of others. Wear a mask because it’s simple. Help out where you can. Think of your community, and trust the experts.

Hopefully, nothing else will happen like this in your lifetime, but if it does, learn from this chaotic year and do what’s best for the community — and country and even world — as a whole. Help others because we are in this together.



PS You have some adorable masks.

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