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I hear a lot of groaning about the recent swell in the number of COVID-19 cases in Lubbock. Is it concerning? Most definitely. Should we be alarmed? Certainly. But why should anyone expect the privilege of enjoying activities in our community's common spaces if they won't wear a mask to help reduce transmission of the virus?

Why would anyone follow a leader to death?

Understandably, the governor of Texas name-dropped Lubbock for having such a young population of people who visit our local dining and beverage providers, but is it really the under 30 crowd not wearing masks? Is it really the "kids" who are spreading this virus? Or might it be some stubborn adults who have been brainwashed into following the leader, even if the issue should not be one for politics?

I'm afraid it's the latter. Seriously, who decides to consciously choose not to utilize methods which may save someone from suffering?
For my Christian fellows, What would Jesus do?

It is not a God given right to potentially harm or infect others with a virus which might kill them.
It is not your American right to deny quality of life for others simply because you choose the topic of wearing a mask as your new imaginary fight.
Pick up the fight for child abuse or even better, go pick up some trash in the parks near your home... oh I know, that’s beneath you and the people who made the mess should be responsible.

If the reader thinks this is a waste of time and effort to continue, your selfish nature is showing and your weak mindset will be remembered should you ever attempt to ask the community for help in your time of need.

I know grown adults, with grandchildren, who have chosen to take this mask "issue" to the extreme, claiming that their rights are being infringed upon. The example being set for the "kids" is exactly what you teach them. Lead by example, and watch the results begin to flatten out. Give it a try for a few weeks if nothing more than for the sake of the local economy.

The consequence of so many deciding not to wear a mask for our community is that businesses don't feel like they would be competitive if they neglected to allow American freedom to influence their policies. Hence, fewer establishments mandating that patrons wear masks.

Friends and family watching from afar, many of whom are living in larger metropolitan areas, see the staunch disregard for human life as disgusting. Nearly any other community with confirmed cases has accepted this behavioral shift of wearing a mask for the sake of their economy and the people they care about most.

This behavioral shift should be no different from that of when the law to wear safety belts in vehicles became a nationally recognized measure to save lives. Wearing a mask is the same sort of behavioral shift. No, it does not guarantee a tragedy will not occur but it certainly reduces the risk. Similar to a safety belt.

We no longer allow smoking in hospitals and even in many bars because we learned a better way for the sake of so many lives. What is the difference between wearing a mask and being told you can't smoke on an airplane?

Before bothering to spout off some nonsense about how the novel coronavirus is no different than the flu, please consult a doctor, virologist, epidemiologist, or ER nurse. But I'm sure you'll dismiss a medical professional's advice too if you've already been brainwashed to believe this is all a hoax.

We can do better on the South Plains, too. Otherwise, our communities will continue to see economic consequences until a vaccine for COVID-19 is available.