Dear Editor,

Small businesses are being decimated by the only defense we have against COVID-19. Regular people are sad, angry and tired of the lack of normalcy. In response to this, a valued Marinette institution has written “Thanks for nothing Wuhan China, Let’s all buy American” and “Don’t forget me Gov. Evers” on its facade. The emotion is real, but these statements are not productive. Here is why:

■ Suggesting that Wuhan China is the sole reason that COVID-19 is spreading in America negates the suffering under the scourge of this virus to its civilians who, like us, have not chosen to undergo this pain. Infection sees no nationality, race, age or wealth. Scientists have agreed for years that the next global pandemic was a question of “when” and not “if” and could have originated anywhere. In this case, it happened to be in Wuhan. Yes, let’s buy American, but this particular small business has little to nothing to do with our political issues with China.

■ The governors of America are being forced to make tough decisions to protect us against deadly outbreaks. We do not want our small community hospital to be put through the traumatic procedures similar to the horrific stories we hear from Italy and New York. It’s OK to be livid, but do not direct your ire to the governor who is being forced to act when there is no trace of a federally mandated plan for the country. If “don’t forget me” means “let me open,” I would argue that it is not politically popular to put a whole state’s economy on hold in any capacity. Do you think Evers wants to hurt your business for political gain? The forced closures are so angering I wish I could use expletives here, but it’s the right decision.

I am writing this opinion from the perspective of an aspiring musician. The way I hope to support myself requires gathering. As my own small business who wants to offer myself as a product worth investing into, I feel this pain that we can not participate in normal activities. However, it is true that to do my part to stop the infection, I have to put these aspirations aside to literally save the lives of those I care about and of those you care about.

I love supporting the business that wrote this and I look forward to the day where I can go back. However, in my own life, I have had to ask myself, “Whose life do I want to risk in order to achieve my goal?” To me the answer is obvious and I hope it is to you as well.


J. Henry Benson