Not the time to let down our guard


As I read Wednesday’s Daily Press, I noticed once again that the front page of the sports section had pictures of high school basketball players wearing masks below their noses and even under their chins. Why? Where are the coaches, officials, and parents? A mask mandate is useless if the masks are not being worn properly, just as seatbelts are useless if they aren’t buckled.

And for anyone who might say that it is impossible to play sports while wearing a mask, I would like to point out that a group of us — mostly senior citizens — play pickleball for two hours or more several times a week while wearing masks. We may not like having to wear them, but we suffer no ill effects from doing so.

We have just reached the “anniversary” of the first reported COVID cases. Deaths across the U.S. are over 500,000. Michigan is reporting 2020 as the deadliest year since 1918. If we had implemented these containment measures sooner and enforced them better, perhaps we would have never reached these unfortunate milestones. And, while there is finally light at the end of the tunnel with the new vaccines, now is not the time to let down our guard. In fact, the number of COVID cases seem to be on the rise again, and Delta County has had the highest number of COVID deaths in the U.P.

And what about the enforcement of the COVID guidelines in our bars and restaurants? Many local establishments are simply choosing not to follow them. A recent Facebook post from the Thomas Theater Group out of Marquette talked about what they were doing to ensure the safety of their patrons. How nice it would be if other businesses would follow suit so that those of us who have these same concerns would know where we want to spend our money and our time. Just as our local businesses are asking us to continue to support them, I would ask that they continue to support their employees and their patrons by doing everything possible to keep them safe.

And I would have to disagree with those who say that we are acting out of fear by wearing masks. I believe we are acting out of a concern for others. I have personally been fully vaccinated. I don’t fear for my own safety but rather for the safety of others who have not been vaccinated or who may have underlying conditions that put them at greater risk.

I believe in the science. I want this thing over. I will never understand how anyone can listen to the experts and examine the data on cases and deaths and still say that it isn’t real. If believing in it makes me a sheep, then all I have to say is . . . . .“Baa.”

Shirley Gollach



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