Commerce Matters: Let’s emerge from pandemic with collective resolve (Voices)

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

Ann Silver is CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.

We start a new year, again accompanied by the anxiety and concern over health issues initiated by COVID-19 and variants that have found their way across the globe.

And though we’ve all grown tired of and resistant to masks, frequent hand-washing and distancing, it’s no time to relent. Elected officials have an obligation to uphold the law, federal or state or local, and masking up indoors in public places remains in effect.

If for no other reason, since we all want and need the goods and services provided by our local businesses, we should show respect for those front-line workers who must be masked all day, regardless of their political, social or religious beliefs.

We want what we want when we want it, but we carelessly invoke individual liberties when those working to serve us must abandon them and do what’s right for our collective safety.

Our political landscape is more sharper-edged and reactionary than ever before, but we can’t indulge disparate views and beliefs that put so many others in jeopardy.

Perhaps in 2022, this community can find a way to stop harvesting resentment when we should celebrate the skills of those who focus on maintaining our quality of life and providing business sustainability.

The so-called cry of “individual liberty” is not currently suited to our community’s best interests and the continued threats of contagion. No man/woman is an island during a pandemic with solidarity and mutual cooperation as the only defenses against future shut-downs, business failures, and inevitable restrictions on our freedoms.

We’ve benefited from ambitious plans that bridged the gap on so many fronts with federal subsidies. Let’s rely on our more rational and decent selves to emerge from this pandemic fatigue with collective resolve rather than continued dependence on mandates and directives.

What if we all decided to unite against an invisible enemy that is still among us and apply collective action to its demise?

“Commerce Matters” is a monthly Voices column authored by Ann Silver, CEO of the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce. Reach her at


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