With the very real possibility that mask mandates will return, I wonder why so many people think their rights are being violated. I just don’t get it.
I know a young man who refuses to get the vaccine. He believes his friends over doctors and health officials. But then he is 18, and we all know that 18-year-olds possess a vast amount of knowledge and life experience.
Armed with the belief that the County Commission would call for new masking guidelines, a crowd gathered outside the chambers last week. Despite the assurance from the Chairman that masking was not on the agenda. During the public comment session, most speakers ranted during their two minutes about their rights being violated; some cited studies found on the internet, which they interpreted to mean masks, vaccines, and distancing are not necessary.
I was reminded of a dear high school friend who contracted polio in the 1950s as a child. I wanted to know how she felt, so I called her. While using a wheelchair, she graduated college, married, and raised a family. Today she celebrates life as a happy grandmother. She remembers asking her mother why she needed the vaccine when she already had polio. She said her mother told her she needed it to protect the rest of her body. As I recall, the was little opposition to getting the polio shot or later sugar cube with vaccine.
As I write, employers around the country are mandating vaccinations or, at the least weekly covid tests. There will be opposition, but I feel it’s past time to take a stricter approach to slow the spread of this virus. School is bout to start, and I worry about my grandchildren. They seem at ease wearing masks, but some school boards are saying no mask mandates this year. I don’t think this is the right message to send to our kids. Luckily, I am vaccinated and live in a community where most others are as well. However, when I do venture out, you will know me by my mask.
In celebration of last week’s Earth Day, I want to showcase the litter on our highways. Over the previous five years, I have been appalled by the amount of trash on the highways in the Kansas City Metro area. I have complained to county commissioners, state highway officials, and city officials, claiming it is not their responsibility.
Some say most of the litter comes from trash trucks on their way to the landfill. Until recently, I believed that could contribute to the problem, but was not the sole reason. However, I happened to follow a large Waste Management truck for a few miles, during which time a large amount of trash flew out of the truck onto the highway. From the looks of our highways, how can this be acceptable?
That experience was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I knew I had to do more to address the problem. So I called the City Managers’ office was told, “we hear about this all the time, and there is nothing we can do. You need to contact Waste Management”. The only problem is Waste Management’s phone number is to a call center that keeps you on hold for a long time, and if you don’t have an account, they don’t know to who you should be connected.
During my wait to speak to a manager, the recording touts, “We don’t think green…we act green”. I want senior management to drive around the area and then tell me they are acting green.
Trash-strewn roads are not just unsightly; the debris collects in drain systems and crate hazards. So, happy earth day, please don’t litter.
As this pandemic drags on and local governments try to deal with the spread, they also must deal with those who feel their rights are violated with mask orders. These same people wear their seatbelts, most wear helmets when cycling, and to avoid being arrested for public nudity, they wear clothing.
On several occasions, I’ve seen people in stores without masks; I want to say something, but I know it will most likely cause a problem. Don’t these people care about others? I sure don’t think so. I think most of us are doing our best to wear masks, sanitize our hands, and keep a safe distance. Yes, it is not how we have lived most of our lives, and let’s hope it is not how we will live the rest of our lives.
I realize this blog post will not change the minds of those who feel so strongly about wearing a mask. I wonder if they are also going to refuse the vaccine when it is available? As someone who lives with COPD, I am in the vulnerable group and appreciate those who are doing their part to control the spread.
If you know someone who refuses to wear a mask, joins in large gatherings, or other dangerous activity, please use your influence to change their behavior.