Last week, my neighbor and his wife and myself, all senior citizens over the age of 65, were playing some Pickle Ball over at Sherman Park in Ortonville, which was open. Pickle Ball is a smaller version of tennis, played with oversized ping pong paddles and a hard plastic ball with holes. We were having a great time and observing COVID-19 “social distance” guidelines. It felt so good to finally be out of our houses and getting some much needed moderate exercise. Oh, did I forget to mention that we are all senior citizens over the age of 65?
Ultimately we were approached by a uniformed police officer who politely told us that the mayor had received a complaint about us being there and that we would have to leave. Dejectedly, we took down the netting, put away our paddles and balls went back to our homes, where we could “stay in place”.
So I got to thinking about what happened and then I got angry. Evidently in this town, during this COVID-19 crisis, it’s not healthy or legal for senior citizens to peacefully assemble in a public park, but it is ok for senior citizens to have to breathe in an unending stench of smoke and soot all day, every day, while in our homes, our lungs defenseless against this enemy, while our mayor looks the other way.
It’s time to stop this burning madness and let our senior citizens breathe clean air, which is our basic right, especially during this health crisis! Let’s ban all outdoor burning, except for grills.
We have all suffered in silence for too long. Our citizens should have the legal right to breathe clean air!