June 24, 2020 — I’ll be the first to admit that wearing a mask is a pain. Glasses fog up, and it shifts when I talk with folks. I even snapped my own ear lobe with the elastic once (I don’t recommend it, especially if you are within earshot of others).
However, a simple thought always crosses my mind reminding me that the inconvenience of wearing a mask when I go into a public space is a small price to pay for protecting my fellow community members and visitors alike.
If someone told me that there was a 1 percent chance that I could spread something to my wife, children or friends that could make them ill or potentially kill them, would I wear a mask to eliminate that 1 percent?
In a heartbeat.
I love this community, and if putting up with the inconvenience of wearing a mask means that I could potentially keep from unknowingly spreading a virus to 1 percent of you, I will put up with the foggy glasses and even the risk of ear-lobe snaps.
It’s the least I can do for my community, and I’m glad to do it.
Anyone who has been out and about over the last couple of weeks since entering Phase Two Reopening can see how activity in Florence has tripled. Yesterday alone, I saw license plates from California, New Mexico, Washington and British Columbia.
While we are relaxing restrictions allowing community businesses to resume some level of their operations — and as a result seeing a marked increase in visitors from well beyond a 50-mile radius — it doesn’t mean it’s also time to relax simple preventative measures to slow a potential spread of COVID-19 in our communities.
In fact, with so many new visitors coming to our area, I’d say it’s more important than ever to do “the least” we can do to protect each other.
Somehow, the wearing of masks has become interpreted by some as a political statement as, once again, divisiveness has hijacked what was once common sense and common courtesy for one another.
If someone I cared about contracted a virus from me because I wasn’t willing to do “the least” I could to protect them, it would be hard to live with — no matter who I would or wouldn’t vote for.
In the end, it’s up to each of us to protect what is a largely at-risk community.
It’s “the least” we can do for each other.