To the Editor:

Something I hear from local politicians is that people have the common sense to wear a mask if it’s their choice but resent the government mandate. I want to believe that. But then stuff like the recent “Burn the Mask” protests in our next-door state of Idaho demonstrate that the common sense choice of many is “never, ever.” I doubt that, when Idaho lifts the mask mandate, all those folks are going to run out and replace their burnt masks and start wearing them. Yet, people can easily be a carrier, walking around for several days before they show symptoms. People can easily be a carrier while having no symptoms at all. Yes, we can wear a mask hanging around our neck, and pull it up if an elderly person walks into the room. What if it is someone who has an elderly relative living at home, unbeknownst to us? What if someone has a weakened immune system or a lung condition that we are not aware of? We all teach our children to respect others, to cover their mouth when they cough, etc. This is no different. There are laws about driving recklessly. We care that a careening car on a public road can cause great harm to others, maybe to someone we love. If it was only your own health that was at stake, forgoing a mask would be a risk for you alone. You will probably be fine. It’s how the choice to opt out can potentially, unwittingly affect others that is the issue.

Marie Bryant

Prairie City

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