By Mike Pumford
Forty two years as a proud citizen of Newaygo, twenty four years as a Teacher/Coach, six years as Newaygo’s State Representative and a constant prideful promoter of my town, our town. I NEVER thought I would feel the community shame I felt this past Thursday on May 21st.
Such a disappointment to turn on the news and see interviews with event organizers from Kalamazoo and multiple interviews from event participants from all over the state. What I didn’t see or hear was anything from local leaders taking credit for organizing the event. WHY? WHO ARE YOU? DO YOU EVEN EXIST?
It’s hard for me to believe that any local leader would allow an outside group to use our Community. A community that canceled its own locally scheduled events due to COVID-19.
Spending the last twenty four hours texting and talking, via phone, with like-minded community members, I am (we are) concerned that this spectacle that occurred on Thursday has done a considerable amount of damage to Newaygo.
Will tourists supporting our State’s Coronavirus mandates (the vast majority of Michigan’s citizens currently support these mandates) be less inclined to support a community that appears to place itself above the law?
Will local consumers be less inclined to be supportive of the businesses that participated in encouraging hundreds of outside non-masked and non-social distancing individuals into our community, increasing the possible spread of the Coronavirus? Are our community’s CHILDREN, OUR SENIOR CITIZENS, and our most VULNERABLE safer today because our community leaders allowed this event to take place? I think not!
To my former government students. Remember what we learned about FREEDOM:
“One mans’ freedom to swing his fist ends where another man’s nose begins”
this can also be stated:
“One man’s Freedom not to wear a mask and not to social distance ends with the possibility of infecting another person”
Newaygo-we are better than this! Be wise-stay safe.
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