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Letter: The messy politics of COVID have made Utah unrecognizable

Protesters prepare to take a self-timed group photo while gathered outside of the Governor’s Mansion in Salt Lake City on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. They were at the mansion to protest Gov. Gary Herbert’s mask mandate and new COVID-19 restrictions.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

I think the politicization of COVID-19 broke my state.

I know Utahns to be caring, selfless, compassionate people. I have seen the individual sacrifices at all levels of society to help our neighbors. The refugee efforts have been second to none. The one-on-one ministering has been humbling to witness. This is what I know Utahns to be and believe — regardless of religious affiliation.

However, today I am seeing something different. As our big cities and major hospitals are at capacity and our ICU doctors and nurses are working double shifts to keep us from a critical tipping point, we are arguing about our individual liberties. We are reverting to a “my house, my rules” mentality. We are living under an “eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die” philosophy.

I recognize that the bleak picture I just painted is not all Utahns. But it is enough that I feel saddened. This is not the Utah I know, and I can only point to our politicization of COVID as being the cause of this decline. The foundations of trust in science have been eroded. Politicians have denied the problem and refused to support proven means of fighting the disease. Followers have attributed ill intention to so many who are trying to get us through this current time with as little heartbreak as possible.

I plead with you to do some introspection. Are there things we can and should be doing right now to build our communities in positive ways? Are there things you are willing to sacrifice for the well-being of others? If we cannot find a way back to this mentality, I am truly concerned for the realities that the next couple of months will bring.

Randi von Bose

Kaysville