Favoring solution over expensive obstacle

Edgar Allen Poe wrote a short story published in 1842 titled “The Mask of the Red Death.”

The Red Death, later known as bubonic plague, is a bacterial infection caused by flea bites.

The fleas are parasitically carried by small animals, most notably rats.

Poe related the tale of Prince Prospero, a nobleman determined to escape the plague. Accompanied by many of his wealthy friends, he retreated to his secluded country estate, a magnificent abbey surrounded by a solid wall, equipped with iron gates welded by bolts and inpenetrable.

The Prince hosted a masked ball. All guests were costumed.

Also attending was an uninvited guest, unidentifiable, dressed in red, a figure representing the inescapable plague.

Walls, solid or not, along with fences, moats, dams and dikes, are merely obstacles, capable of being breached and costly to maintain.

Obstacles are not solutions. As a nation, we are being challenged to find a solution to the problem on our southern border.

The solution to the plague that killed an estimated 50 million people in the 14th Century was not a wall nor was it the annihilation of fleas and rats. The solution was an adequate septic system.

If you truly believe that America is a great nation, one that can be even greater, you will advocate rising to the challenge of a solution, not an expensive obstacle.

Nancy Pfeiffer

Williamsport

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