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Common sense will prevail

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new guidance for fully-vaccinated individuals. This is good news … except this new guidance does not apply to health care settings. Communities like Friendship Haven are still living under guidance that, in many cases, contradicts itself. Far worse is the fact that it directly impacts the residents who choose to live in retirement communities.

So, are you a rule follower? As you have gone about your life, do you follow the rules? Or are you riskier and choose to bend or even break the rules? Following the rules is one of those things as individuals we develop a certain tolerance for one way or the other.

I remember I tended to be a rule follower in Ms. Nelson’s first grade class at Hawley Elementary. However, I did get in trouble quite a few times for talking too much. Was I breaking the rules? Or bending them? In first grade the stakes weren’t too high. There would be good grades on my report cards with a few comments here or there about “being too social” or “too talkative” or maybe even the occasional “needs to pay better attention.” But a rule breaker? Not me.

Fast forward 40 years and “rules” are now clouded by the pandemic, politics, guidance, regulations, “experts,” and whatever social medical influence that adamantly claims who’s right and who’s wrong. Give me a break. Common sense should prevail, but, when it doesn’t, there is no need to become angry. Frustrated, irritated, confused sure, but not angry. There are bigger fish to fry.

This new guidance related to mask wearing is a confusing step forward during a time where common sense might have flown right out the window. We continue to treat those in long-term care communities differently. Socializing, even fully vaccinated in some areas on our campus, could be seen as “breaking the rules,” but we go on. We do our best, we follow the guidance even if we don’t understand the logic.

Over the past 15 months we’ve been good stewards of the guidance; we’ve done our jobs and will continue to do our jobs. However, there comes a time when individual freedoms and our own good judgment must help us find a way forward.

Opinions on vaccinations will vary. The next phase of this strange time is pushing us into a non-vaccinated versus vaccinated world. Personally, I would like to see everyone get vaccinated. My reasons are mine. In our world it will help us get closer to a less restrictive life. If you choose to not get vaccinated and have valid reasons, I still appreciate you and your choices. I will play with you on the playground.

There is no reason to fight, there is no reason to call names. We are all trying to move forward to get to a time where we are not divided but together in recovering from a pandemic that has changed how we all view the world … rule follower or not.

Julie Thorson is the president and chief executive officer of Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge.

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