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Celebration and trepidation as Washington unmasks


Tomorrow is a big day for Washingtonians – the indoor mask mandate is (hopefully) gone for good beginning Saturday. Gov. Inslee announced masks will be optional in most places starting tomorrow, with a few exceptions for places like healthcare facilities.

I think I speak for many in our state in saying I am hugely relieved our community’s health is now considered sufficient to take this step. Additionally, I’m sure I’m not alone in saying I am happy to see people’s faces again and maybe see a movie at a theater for the first time in forever. But as we wade into the uncertain waters of the pandemic’s next phase, there’s cause for both celebration and trepidation.

On one hand, it is important we recognize our state’s relative successes in handling Covid-19. Washington had one of the lowest deaths-per-100k rates of any state and our economy has remained comparatively resilient during this global crisis. Washingtonians have been smart – we followed health protocols, we protected our loved ones, we avoided big crowds, we got vaccinated, we got boosted – the list goes on. More than anything, we sacrificed for a greater cause.

On the other hand, the virus has devastated the lives of so many in so many ways across our state. People lost jobs, businesses shuttered, kids couldn’t go to school and more than 12,000 of our fellow Washingtonians have perished. Furthermore, I can’t be the only one having flashbacks to July of last year, when our country celebrated the “end” of masking, only to have the Delta variant emerge soon after.

I hope this time is different. We have made immense progress in combating Covid, but the pandemic is not over. Our state’s economy is on the mend, but many are feeling the impacts of inflation, the rising cost of housing and lost wages due to the pandemic. Right now it is crucial District 4 has quality representation in Congress.

One of the main reasons I began the Doug White 4 Congress campaign is the precarious nature of the situation our state is in. If this seat falls to one of my opponents, CD4 will have an anti-vaxxer speaking for us in Congress. We risk losing the progress Washingtonians have fought so hard for the past two-plus years. We need a serious Representative who will follow the data in returning to normal life, make sure our kids are safe in school and repair our hurting economy.

Despite the many uncertainties, I think we all deserve to take a deep, un-masked breath and pat ourselves on the back for mobilizing against the virus. We have all had to adapt our lives to the reality of life in a pandemic. For my campaign, this meant few in-person gatherings and more small, outdoor chats and virtual Town Halls. I am grateful we’ve been able to leverage technology to connect with voters safely, but I cannot express my excitement for more face-to-face conversations and less Zoom calls.

In light of tomorrow’s momentous un-masking, I hope you’ll join me in the coming weeks for your County’s Town Hall event. These events will be in-person whenever possible and can be attended virtually. Click here to learn more and RSVP for a Town Hall in your county and stay tuned for more Doug White 4 Congress events in your neck of the woods.

In closing, I hope we can all take stock of the progress our state has made against Covid-19. There’s much to be hopeful for, but we can’t let off the gas just yet. I hope we can keep the masks relegated to our glove boxes and not on our faces. With your help, we can keep winning this fight against the pandemic with Doug White in Congress.

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