As mask mandates ease across the country, the state, and our villages, we’d urge caution and kindness as the COVID pandemic morphs into a less immediately threatening but still long-term reality in our lives.

There has been intense suffering, painful division, and much hard work to get us to this moment. Beyond the science that created vaccines and the valiant work of the federal government to make them widely available, we take this moment to credit the thoughtful, often bold work of Oak Park’s public health department in helping our town navigate a confusing and almost impossible situation. 

Working in concert with public-school leaders in making hard choices and pushing out evidence-based solutions, Oak Park has been fortunate and, it turns out, visionary in being one of a handful of communities to fund (inadequate though it has been) its own public health department.

We’re not done with COVID. Staying masked in many indoor settings seems wise to us. But as spring arrives, it will be a good time for a deep and cleansing breath. 

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