OPINION

Good Morning: Please join me in wearing a mask

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley / Herald Democrat

You know those stress dreams that we all sometimes have about showing up at school or work inappropriately dressed? I, sort of, had that feeling Tuesday when I walked back into commissioners court with a face mask on.

Yes, I am wearing a mask in public again as a response to the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Grayson County. A majority of the people in that very small room were not wearing one which is a personal choice.

On Tuesday, the county had 260 active cases, 35 of which were new. And only 44,505 people in Grayson County have been fully vaccinated against the virus. The recent Census numbers show there are 134,543 people in this county. 

I am among the 38.75 percent of the people in the county who are over the age of 12 and fully vaccinated, but when I am out in public, I can't tell which of the people around me are also in that group. For that reason, I wear a mask to be as helpful as possible in the effort to stop the spread of this virus.

Admittedly, when the numbers were lower locally, I got lax in my mask wearing and hand washing. I went to stores and some meetings without a mask. I even sat in a courtroom with people for an entire week without one. I don't think I would make that same decision now. 

There are so many people out there who would love to get a vaccine and can't because of their age or other health related reason. It is for them that I wear a mask as much as it is for me. I simply feel that it is the responsible way to be a compassionate member of society. 

There are so many health care professionals who are telling us this is the right thing to do. I don't smoke because help care professionals say it is bad for me (I never really liked it anyway), and I wear my seat belt in my car because automotive engineers and healthcare professionals say it helps prevent me from getting hurt if I am in an accident.

I see their advice about the mask in the same vein.

Is it sometimes a little uncomfortable to wear the mask? Sure, but seatbelts aren't the most comfy thing in the world either. But we wear them.

Please join me in masking up for those who can't get the shots. The life you save doing so could belong to someone you love.