Column: Protect what makes Carmel special


Commentary by Miles Nelson

My wife and I chose to make Carmel our home 16 years ago. We have raised our children here. We have built our careers here.

It was an easy choice. Carmel is special: award-winning parks, a thriving arts community, a Main Street and Midtown that rival cities twice or three times our size, public schools that are second-to-none in the state, much less the entire country.

But all that – it’s just stuff. It’s the people of Carmel that make the city wonderful. There is a palpable sense of community wherever you turn. We appreciate each other, we look out for one another, we pick up those who have fallen.

All this is the real strength of our city. And it is the people and their strength that I call on today as we watch the number of COVID-19 cases rising around the country.

You see, Carmel, unfortunately, is not immune to what we are witnessing elsewhere. We must take action for the good of our very special community.

What does that mean? It’s fairly simple: Listen to the advice of our health care workers as they share their professional suggestions, practice social distancing, wash your hands and wear a mask.

As much as either end of the political spectrum may want us to believe, COVID-19 does not single out Democrats or Republicans. It does not single out the old or the young, and it does not single out the haves and the have-nots.

We all are in the pandemic’s crosshairs.

Practicing social distancing, washing hands, wearing masks – all this simply shows that we are part of a community who cares for each other.

The thing is, when we do these things, we help tamp down the spread of the disease (and not just COVID-19 but all of those nasty seasonal illnesses that knock us down every year). And when we tamp down the spread, we help to ensure that our community continues to thrive: our restaurants, our galleries, our businesses, our schools. They can all endure and all remain open.

The alternative is grim. Extended pressure on our economy, more illness, further pressure on our health care system and more deaths of loved ones.

We all want life to get back to normal. And we really will get there. Sure, it may look a bit different than anything before March, but what we’re managing now will eventually pass.

To get there, though, we have to come together. We have to keep taking care of each other, and we have to keep being part of that community that makes Carmel a truly special place in our world.

Let’s just make sure we’re wearing a mask while we do all of those things.

Miles Nelson is a member of the Carmel City Council representing the West District.