Reader Opinion: Ration books and masks


During World War II, my parents found many items rationed to back the war. This included gasoline, bicycles, footwear, nylon, fuel oil, stoves, meat, lard, cooking oils, cheese, butter, margarine, processed foods, dried fruits, canned milk, firewood and coal, jams, jellies and fruit butter. Ration books were used when some of these items were purchased. Such rationing lasted the entire four years of the war. This was government mandated and administered. It was a call of sacrifice from all the citizens, which meant a great deal in why the war ended up the way it did. In the end, it all ended up for the better.

Nonetheless, it was considered the patriotic thing to do -- we had to support our boys overseas. It meant giving up some of the things so they could survive, so they could increase the chance that victory would be secured. And it worked.

It wasn’t a socialist plot. It was necessary action to face the crisis at hand. It meant helping each other -- it meant being united, sharing a common purpose.

Let us learn this history lesson -- times arise when it is necessary to take actions that require sacrifice in order to protect our own existence. In the 1940s, it was the war. Now, it’s the virus.

So remember those rationed days -- there was a clear purpose and benefit then. Even with the questioning and protesting, I think there are enough similarities to follow through with similar plans.


Let us unite in our efforts to defeat COVID-19. Mask up. Stay home. Shop wisely. Help out where you can. Just like back in World War II and the successful use of rationing, it is being a good citizen.

Charles Johnson


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