CULTON: Think of other people

Over the weekend, Cass County made national news after a video showing hundreds of people celebrating the Fourth of July on Diamond Lake, not wearing masks or social distancing, went viral.

Many who saw the video and commented on it or shared it via social media spoke out against the party-goers for what appeared to be a blatant disregard of COVID-19 preventative measures.

It was crazy to see Cass County’s name in the spotlight for something like this. Cass County has so much good that I was surprised to see it highlighted due to the reckless behavior of hundreds of individuals.

Beyond the threat of spreading COVID-19, the Cass County Sheriff’s Office revealed that party-goers often leave the area, much of which is privately owned, overwhelmed with cars, trash and human waste.

Not only is that disgusting, but it’s also selfish. It shows a disregard for the homeowners and public health and safety.

I know not everyone feels the same way. Leader Publications’ comment section on the story was filled with people supporting the party-goers and organizers saying they were simply exercising their right to enjoy their lives.

I understand that reaction. We are all tired of COVID-19. We are tired of being at home. We want to get out and celebrate summer.

I get all that. I’m tired of it all, too. I want it all the restrictions to end, too. However, they haven’t ended, and right now, it doesn’t matter what we want. It matters that the community is kept safe.

We all have to think about other people. The more people do things like host the Diamond Lake Fourth of July party, the more likely COVID-19 is to spread, the longer the pandemic will last, and the longer restrictions will be in place. That’s not even mentioning the higher the probability that someone high-risk could become infected with the virus.

The preventative measures we have been asked to take are simple: wear a mask, keep 6 feet of social distance, limit large gatherings. There is nothing on that list that is impossible. These precautions are simple and could save lives. If we all work together by taking these measures, we can help put an end to COVID-19’s spread in Michigan, resulting in an end to related restrictions. However, if we continue to think only of ourselves, this will drag on indefinitely.

Also, let’s make sure the next time Cass County is in the national spotlight, it is for our achievements, not our failures.

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