Up & Coming Weekly

December 08, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 4 of 24

4 UCW DECEMBER 9-15, 2020 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM STAFF PUBLISHER Bill Bowman Bill@upandcomingweekly.com OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Paulette Naylor accounting@upandcomingweekly.com EDITOR April Olsen editor-@upandcomingweekly.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Dylan Hooker art@upandcomingweekly.com EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Keyuri Parab REPORTER Jeff Thompson news@upandcomingweekly.com MARKETING ASSOCIATE Linda McAlister Brown linda@upandcomingweekly.com DISTRIBUTION MANAGER/SALES ADMINISTRATOR Laurel Handforth laurel@upandcomingweekly.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Margaret Dickson, Pitt Dickey, D.G. Martin, John Hood, Jim Jones, Shanessa Fenner, Prudence Mainor, Crissy Neville ART ON COVER LAYOUT "Ever Knew" by Danielle Cartier ––––––––––– Up & Coming Weekly www.upandcomingweekly.com 208 Rowan St. P.O. Box 53461 Fayetteville, NC 28305 PHONE: 910-484-6200 FAX: 910-484-9218 Up & Coming Weekly is a "Quality of Life" publication with local features, news and information on what's happening in and around the Fayetteville/Cumberland County community. Up & Coming Weekly is published weekly on Wednesdays. Up & Coming Weekly welcomes manuscripts, photographs and artwork for publication consideration, but assumes no responsibility for them. We cannot accept responsibility for the return of unsolicited manuscripts or material. Opinions expressed by contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. The publisher reserves the right to edit or reject copy submitted for publication. Up & Coming Weekly is free of charge and distributed at indoor and outdoor locations throughout Fayetteville, Fort Bragg, Pope Air Force Base, Hope Mills and Spring Lake. Readers are limited to one copy per person. © 2020 by F&B Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of editorial or advertisements without permission is strictly prohibited. Various ads with art graphics designed with elements from: vecteezy.com and freepik.com. PUBLISHER'S PEN 82 64 82 83 79 82 63 64 83 66 64 65 THU DEC 10 FRI DEC 11 SAT DEC 12 SUN DEC 13 MON DEC 14 TUE DEC 15 62 36 65 47 66 48 61 41 56 34 54 38 Cloudy Mostly Sunny Sunny Sunny Showers Showers Exercise your freedom to wear a mask by APRIL OLSEN APRIL OLSEN. Editor of UP & COMING WEEKLY. COMMENTS? editor@upand- comingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. While reading Margaret Dickson's col- umn for this week's issue, something she wrote hit me like a gut-punch: "COVID is now the leading cause of death in the United States, taking more people than cancer, heart attacks and strokes. e daily death toll is approximately one 9/11 attack every single day…" Read that again. e daily death toll of COVID-19 is about one 9/11 attack every day. If that doesn't put this virus into per- spective, I don't know what could. What did you do on September 12, 2001? Did you cry, vow to do your part to defeat the evil ones who perpetrated such destruction on our country? Did you donate blood? Did you plant American flags in your yard? Did you enlist in the military? Did you, like me, decide with your family that you would not be leaving the military as you planned but would stay to do your part and help where needed? Folks, it is another September 12 moment in this country. We all need to help where it is needed. Right now. We all have to do our part to stop the spread of this virus. It is evil — not in the form of violent men crashing airplanes into buildings — but in the form of an ill- ness that may spare one but kill another. You may have it and not know it. You may spread it without even knowing you have been exposed. I am just as tired as anyone else of wearing a mask. I am just as ticked off at politicians who tell us not to spend holi- days with our loved ones, and then go on vacation with their families. I am disgusted at lawmakers who close down businesses but sneak in the back door to get their own hair done. But I try not to confuse this kind of frus- tration with civic responsibility. As a beneficiary of the enormous freedom I have as a citizen of the United States, I believe I owe it allegiance, partici- pation in its defense, a commitment to see that it endures for my children, and a re- sponsibility in the care of its people. If that means I have to give up a little personal comfort and wear a mask, then so be it. It is the least I can do. It is what is needed. Right now. I grow weary of the folks who want to throw words like "freedom" and "govern- ment control" around like we can't follow simple safety precautions without infring- ing our own personal freedom. Wearing a mask in public does not make me a slave to the government. It doesn't make me a liberal or a conservative. It makes me a considerate, responsible citizen who doesn't want to unknowingly pass a poten- tially fatal disease to someone else. I am not a fan of any elected official telling the rest of us who is "essential" and what businesses should be allowed to remain open. I am a huge proponent of people being responsible, accountable citizens. And right now, that means wear- ing a mask and staying away from others as much as possible. I personally do not want to sit down in a restaurant with a hundred other people — all of whom could be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. I can keep doing the take-out thing. But, for those who choose, they can still go eat out in restaurants. at is the very definition of "freedom," folks. I choose what is best for me and my family. You choose what is best for yours. As with everything else in life, there are limits, and we should view them through a lens of civic responsibility and common decency. As Americans, we are so spoiled that we believe that being told to do anything is an infringement on our rights. Somehow we have lost understanding of the central idea that my rights end at the point where they endanger yours. I can't yell "fire" in a crowded theater, I can't drive 80 in a school zone, I can't shoot off a firearm into the air in a public place. It is not govern- ment control to establish and enforce poli- cies for the common good. If I am being a responsible person and citizen, I do my part to not put others in danger. It really is that simple. I have no time for those who want to argue the finer points of slippery slope logic. ey want to dog-pile the public health conversation with every conceivable notion about comparisons with the flu, being conditioned into giving up freedoms, etc. ey are missing the point. Choosing to prioritize the risk to others above your own personal prefer- ence and comfort is not giving up freedom — it is a commendable exercise of freedom. Doing the right thing is not infringing your rights. To those who are burning their masks is revolt, I say this: get over your- selves. Wear your mask, wash your hands, and until everyone is safely vaccinated, please, keep your distance. Choosing to prioritize the risk to others above your own personal comfort is a commendable exercise of freedom. (Photo illustration by Dylan Hooker)

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