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Please wear masks

I hate wearing a face mask. Absolutely hate it! The thing fogs up my reading glasses and my sunglasses so I can’t see. It makes me sweat so profusely that my carefully straightened bangs frizz up and then stick to my forehead. It smells in there. It makes my ears stick out and destroys my carefully coifed hair. I hate that mask!

But I will continue to wear it and wear it until the pandemic is at least under control, if not demolished. Why? Because as a citizen of Marshalltown and the United States of America, it is my civil responsibility to be as concerned with other citizens’ health and welfare as it is with my own. Because experts say that only wearing masks and social distancing until we have a viable vaccine for everyone is the only way to contain the pandemic. Yes, I know you will counter with experts that say just the opposite. Because my daughter-in-love has such serious health issues that if she contracted the coronavirus it would be tragic. Because I want to model citizenship for my grandchildren.

Our great nation was founded upon the fervent desire for freedom, and that freedom was hard-fought and painfully hard-won. But freedom as our forefathers designed isn’t the kind of personal freedom that allows for doing exactly as we please with no consequences.

British author Os Guinness writes in his book “A Free People’s Suicide: Sustainable Freedom and the American Future,” “Freedom is not being able to do whatever you want. Freedom is being able to do what you ought to do.”

I am free. And I am freely able to do that which I ought to do. Excepting those whose health issues prevent them from wearing a mask, every American citizen is freely able to do what they ought to do – wear a mask each and every time you are in public. Out of civic pride and responsibility. Out of concern for those around you. Out of a passion to bring this pandemic to a definitive close at the earliest moment possible. And out of a fervent desire to bring about the new normal that we all are certain to see.

Please, citizens of Marshalltown, wear a mask. It is the thing that you are able to do and ought to do.

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