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Our View: Thumbs down to troubling COVID-19 figure; thumbs up to peaceful Black Lives Matter rally | COMMENTARY

THUMBS DOWN: We’re troubled to see Carroll County’s Hispanic population seems to be impacted by COVID-19 at a rather alarming rate. Recent data from the Carroll County Health Department shows Hispanic people make up 17% of the community’s cases ― not including cases from congregate living facilities, such as nursing homes, rehab centers, and correctional facilities ― despite U.S. Census numbers showing less than 4% of the county’s population is Hispanic. Some additional data that should be noted: A recent Johns Hopkins University study found the rate of infection among Hispanic people in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., area is almost five times that of white people, and more than twice that of Black people. Hispanic people have the highest rate of infection — relative to their population size — of any ethnic group in Maryland, accounting for 26.5% of the cases in the state while they only represent 10.6% of the state’s population. The Hispanic community seems to face unique challenges, from those who work service industry jobs considered to be essential, to people perhaps living in multigenerational households. A language barrier might also be an obstacle for many. Several local organizations are trying to do their part in delivering testing information, and we hope the number of COVID-19 cases starts coming down.

THUMBS UP: The Black Lives Matter movement has taken hold around Carroll County, but many of the rallies have been met with differing levels of opposition and, sometimes, hate. That’s what former Taneytown resident Meghann Puckett said happened when her group, Ambassadors of Love, took part in a BLM event last month. Her small bunch was hit with racial slurs, obscene gestures and even had trash thrown its way. A second rally took place last weekend, and we were pleased to hear the reception was very different this time around. More than 50 people took part in Taneytown’s latest Black Lives Matter protest, and other than a minor incident that didn’t amount to much, Puckett said it was a success. “It was just so much love, so much peace,” she told us. “Everybody standing together. It just seemed to be perfect energy.” Puckett said she and her fellow Ambassadors of Love members were appreciative of a bigger turnout than at the previous Taneytown event, which barely cracked double-digits in attendance. There will be more of these events and marches taking place around the county. We hope peaceful protests are met with peaceful responses, no matter the cause.

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THUMBS UP: Losing a house to a fire is horrible, but losing one a mere weeks before you’re about to move in must be truly heartbreaking. That’s what happened to the Colvin family when their soon-to-be Hampstead home burned to the ground July 6. But we were glad to see the community come together in a hurry to help their neighbors in need. A GoFundMe page was created the day after the fire, encouraging people to raise $50,000 for the family. As of this weekend, the total was climbing toward $8,000. There were no injuries, but the Office of the State Fire Marshal estimated the damage to be $350,000. After the Hampstead Volunteer Fire Company doused the fire, the next day members collected donations at a food truck event the company already had planned. The company received more than $1,100 in donations and presented the money to the family at the event, according to a Facebook post. We’re also happy to see Hampstead’s Little Free pantry is seeking donations to help the family. Donations can be made online at bit.ly/2ChDD6b. Select Little Free Pantry in the “Give To” drop-down menu. Donations can be also made by texting “GIVE” to 443-917-3845.

THUMBS UP: Nobody wants to be dealing with cancer, let alone being afflicted by the disease during the coronavirus pandemic and not being able to visit with friends and loved ones. That’s why we’re proud of Eldersburg resident Elizabeth Crutchley, who is showing support for a family member with cancer by walking along Md. 26 near her home. Crutchley walks for her niece Lindsey Cohen, who is battling triple negative stage 3 breast cancer and has been undergoing chemotherapy in Cincinnati since May 12. The coronavirus pandemic has kept Crutchley from traveling to be with Cohen, so she wanted to find a way to spread awareness and raise money from afar. Crutchley started walking 2.5 miles on Md. 26 every other day at the beginning of June, donning bright outfits and holding colorful signs decorated with sparkles to get attention from passersby. Anything she can do for Cohen, who suffers from a rare form of cancer. Triple-negative breast cancer is one that tests negative for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and excess HER2 protein, according to breastcancer.org. About 10-20% of breast cancers are triple-negative cases. This type of cancer is more likely diagnosed in people younger than 50 years old. Crutchley gets drivers to honk and wave at her, and see her signs, but she has also shared a GoFundMe page via Facebook to try and raise money for Cohen. Crutchley is a cancer survivor herself, and says she has been free of the disease for 12 years. We’re hoping Cohen wins her battle, too, and it’s clear she has plenty of support.

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