Publisher’s Corner

J.B. Lester

Who Was That Masked Man?

In this age of COVID-19, we have learned once again how anything, I mean anything, can turn political. I heard from a physician, (not knowing or caring his political leaning), that if you wear a face mask and wash your hands 10 times a day (or hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available), and practice social distancing, the chances of catching the COVID-19 virus is minimal. This is the general advice from almost every health official from all government and health institutions. And yet there are those people who feel wearing a mask is somehow an infringement of their personal rights. There is even internet chat about why wear a mask at all when it has been said the average mask is not at all effective in preventing infection. But what if the person next to you wears a mask, the odds of infection become much lower and you would catch less viruses (viral load) and your illness would probably be less severe. Simply put, I wear a face mask to protect you, my family and those around me. I know a disposable or cloth face mask is only partially effective on its own. But that’s why they say, “We are all in this together.” When I go to the store and see others not wearing masks, I feel they are not using all the tools in their toolbox to fight this virus. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like wearing my mask. I don’t like breathing in my own hot breath. But I don’t think of it as an assault on my personal freedom. That’s where it starts to get political. Seems like we can turn anything political these days. Some things should not be political footballs, and it seems pandemics and death tolls top that list. Healthcare, the environment, education, public safety, these topics should be human causes and not political talking points. In this pandemic, when we see face masks replacing fuzzy dice hanging from rearview mirrors, it is clear that many people are trying as best they can to prevent the spread of coronavirus. As a small businessperson, I understand the need for businesses to open up again and stop the bleeding. Most of us don’t have the ability to go more than a few months without income. Now that things are beginning to open up again, and you feel comfortable going out avoiding crowds, with your mask on and your hands washed, I plead with you to shop at your local small stores and businesses. Now more than ever, that popular slogan “SHOP LOCAL” really means something. The money you spend at the local small businesses in the weeks and months to come, could actually help that business survive. There is no doubt that there has been an incredible domino effect from this pandemic. Now that we are starting to put the dominos back up in some sort of order, it is important to take it slow, follow safety protocols, be a good citizen and walk softly. If the dominos fall again, I am afraid there won’t be another game to be played for many of us. As June is upon us and summer is just around the corner, there are hopes of a vaccine in the not so distant future. For once, let’s just all agree that we need each other right now to pull together and stay strong. This virus doesn’t care about political affiliations. It knows no boundaries or jurisdictions. The stoplight has changed from red to yellow and that means caution. If we pull together, we can get the green light soon enough. Stay strong, wash your hands, wear your mask, social distance and avoid crowds if you are in the high-risk group. You have every right to protect yourself and your family from this virus. Our lives depend on it.

Support & Shop Local,
J.B. Lester; Publisher