Without any doing on our part, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, and no matter your feelings or politics, people are getting sick and dying, global economies are in turmoil and it's disrupted just about everything we once considered normal.

Whether you believe in it or not, our best scientists and now even our president are in agreement ... keeping six feet distance between folks, practicing good hygiene -- especially washing your hands, and, most controversial, wearing a mask, all help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Slowing the spread will ease the strain on all the many dedicated health care workers who are toiling tirelessly and running a higher risk of coming down with COVID-19 every single day they're at work.

Easing the strain and spreading the infection out over time will allow our hospitals and medical infrastructure to maintain services as well as allow time to develop a vaccine.

And what's more, many health officials say that if all who can will do those three things for as little as a month or six weeks, it could slow the spread enough that we can all get back to work and build our new normal.

Not everybody can or will do these things, especially wearing a mask, and that is nobody's business but theirs.

If there is a law in force mandating a mask, let law enforcement deal with it and don't judge.

Conversely, if you're one of those people who chooses not to wear a mask even if you can, for whatever reason, that's your decision, but don't ridicule those who do wear a mask or try to convince them not to ... it's rude, it's unwelcome and most of all, it's not neighborly.

If you can wear a mask, wear it; if you can't or won’t, don't, but either way, do what your conscience tells you to do and don’t crow about it.

Sure, masks might not work as well as the experts predict, but it's not that big a sacrifice. And if, as those who are in the best positions to know say, they do work, the more who accept the temporary inconvenience the quicker we'll all be able to get back to living.

It ain't rocket surgery, folks, and it ought not be political. It's being good neighbors and it makes good sense.


Mike Weland has been a journalist since serving as battalion Hometown News specialist in the Army's 82nd Airborne Division beginning in 1979. He is publisher, editor and reporter at KootenaiValleyTimes.com, which he launched in March, 2018.

(1) comment

Kirk Dixon

Thank you for giving a well rounded,intelligent, thoughtful, and unbiased opinion on the mask mandates. It was truly appreciated.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.