Passionate and (mostly) respectful recent debate in the waning pandemic

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Passionate and (mostly) respectful recent debate in the waning pandemic

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While the all-encompassing strength of the COVID-19 Pandemic is waning, it still persists and lingers. This is a critical time where countries can either dreamily and abruptly attempt to return to idealized pre-pandemic existence or continue to return to their visions of normalcy through steps found in scientific methodology. Debates that focused on safety, health, and personal freedoms (especially about masks and vaccines) were constantly in the news the last two years, with some deteriorating into disheartening and embarrassing public displays. Surely, these debates will continue indefinitely, and all perspectives will be important to history.

While browsing this archive, many of the stories are of those who subscribe to the reality of the pandemic, who trust and listen to science, and who have highlighted the way their lives have changed during the pandemic. I am from Arizona, born and raised. I often find myself to be the lone liberal or democrat, particularly at work, in a state formerly known as a red state, now perhaps purple. While Arizona is well represented in this archive regarding life during a pandemic, it has many people living in it who dispute the pandemic's origin, virulence, and the government's attempt to control personal freedoms, as much as I personally disagree.
The attached YouTube video shows a meeting of the Kyrene School District Governing Board from January 25th, 2022. The relevant background is that before the 2021 Winter Holiday break this district emailed parents that masks would no longer be mandatory after the new year. By the end of the break, Omicron infections had increased, and the district regressed back to mandatory masks after the holidays. Please watch, specifically from minutes 20:35 through 38:28. To me, a person who reads a diverse group of news sites daily, this clip has brought me hope. Of all the ugly comments I have read on far right or left news sites, debate like the one in this video is instead mostly constructive, passionate, and respectful. I may not agree with everything discussed in this sample, but I respect people's right to debate their beliefs. I believe studying other perspectives is useful for future generations. Historians one hundred years from now may wonder why certain people thought masks were useless in schools. Hopefully, between this J.O.T.P.Y. archive and the articles that exist on the internet, a thoughtful sample of diverse perspectives can be researched.
Additionally, I hope this video adds to material in this archive that demonstrates the anti-mask perspective to historians who could research and educate future generations on state and federal authority during health crises to hopefully prevent conflicts as we saw during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This video is owned and uploaded by the Kyrene School District to YouTube.
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This item was submitted on March 15, 2022 by Jason Inskeep using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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