A bit of background. Our small Village, following the Governor’s actions, established a mask mandate for indoor activity at commercial and public indoor areas in the village. Two businesses, owned by the same family, decided to post “please remove your mask” signs in the entrances to their establishments and actively derided the Governor’s and Village Council’s actions on social media. Subsequent to this, a posse of women protesters showed up at our local grocery store, sans masks, and proceeded to harass both patrons and staff including calling them “good little slaves” among other insulting remarks.
Our Mayor wrote an op-ed calling such behavior unacceptable. While I completely agree with the Mayor, it was my opinion that “unacceptable” did not quite capture the environment the protesters created. Below, please find the letter to the editor of my local newspaper. They chose not to publish.
To the Editor:
In response to last week’s article on the mask protesters in our Village and in support of the Mayor’s Op-Ed terming this behavior unacceptable, please let me add a few thoughts.
Consider for a moment what it has meant to be “against” the wearing of masks for the past 12 months. I will not argue your individual right not to wear a mask or to not be vaccinated for COVID-19. I will, however, argue stridently that you have no right to infect me or others due to your behavior. If wearing a mask or getting vaccinated is truly against your conscience, so be it. All you need to do is remove yourself from public life. No movies, shopping, restaurants, schools, sporting events, etc.
Your entertainment, amusement and/or education is not worth the life of another, and please, make no mistake, not wearing a mask or not being vaccinated is not about you….it is about the health and safety of the rest of us.
In short, you are saying that you simply do not care about the other members of this community enough to behave in a way that keeps us safe. For reasons not yet apparent to me, I see no similar protesting about the other infringements on your “liberty” that have escaped your ire such as a drivers’ license, stopping at red lights and stop signs, obtaining building permits and obeying building codes, or not smoking in public spaces to name just a few. Somehow, in your minds, these infringements do not rise to the level that masks and vaccinations for COVID do even though these other behavioral requirements are every bit as much about others’ safety.
In a community that prides itself on its specialness and neighborly ways, you have made your statement. You are not a neighbor; you are a threat.