These are certainly unusual times in our community and our country. Unfortunately, many of our politicians have focused on issues that have little to do with the health and future of our country.
For instance, the mask issue has divided the population for no good reason. Multiple politicians have pronounced masks as unnecessary and a limit on our personal freedoms despite the overwhelming evidence that this minor adjustment in our lifestyle prevents disease and death.
Why should we pay any attention to those who believe wearing a mask is limiting our personal freedoms? Our freedoms are being threatened by a virus not a piece of cloth.
In my previous life as a primary care physician, I gave a myriad of advice only to have it fall on deaf ears, but never did I have a patient tell me that his or her political leader gave better health advice than me.
Others have proclaimed our children will not be able to attend school with masks. Does this indicate our children are not as tough as those in other countries where students are masked and able to succeed in a schoolroom?
I support the leaders who listen to the public health experts and make decisions based on the science and not the personal need to be reelected.
I try to wear a mask, socially distance, and wash my hands as much as possible. I also attempt to use local businesses as much as possible but now notice a reluctance of local business employees and customers to wear masks. Target, CVS, Apple, Costco, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Best Buy, and other corporations now require masks to enter their facilities. The president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Robert Kaplan said, “We’re confident that masks work, and if you want to reopen the economy faster, you want to get people back on planes and in stores. Part of my job, I believe, is to call it out.” Justin Wolfers, a professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan said, “The three most important policies for creating an economic recovery are public health, public health, and public health.”
I will shop at businesses I perceive as safe and concerned about public health. Minimally, employees and customers must wear masks for me to enter a venue. I will also utilize businesses touting home delivery, curbside delivery, and minimal personal exposure.
Locally, we should support our school boards, superintendents, teachers, and staff as they make difficult decisions to educate our students safely. A local attorney has chosen to file suit against Hillsboro Community District #3 and the IHSA with the legal claim challenging compulsory COVID-19 requirements. His point of law suggests the legislature must pass a bill to make these requirements legal. I’m sure he has only the best interests and health of his family, friends, clients, and the residents of Illinois in mind. If so, I pray he does his work pro bono and foregoes any payment for his professional services, thus limiting the financial loss of the school district and the taxpayers.
Finally, I respect the rights of my fellow citizens to voice their own opinions. I don’t agree with some of your ideas, but this is America! Please wear a mask when you’re near others, socially distance when necessary, and wash your hands frequently. I care about you all, so stay safe and we will move through this downturn together!