|8/12/2020 3:18:00 PM|
To mask or not to mask
I don't know about you, but I have struggled with Gov. Walz's executive order mandating everyone wear face masks.
I do agree that everyone should wear masks when entering a place of business. And, if you're an employee of a business who works with the public, you should be wearing a mask. I even agree with wearing a mask outdoors in places where it becomes difficult to social distance - if not for your safety, certainly the safety of those with whom you come in contact.
I also believe that the face mask mandate is a way to get everyone used to wearing face masks before school starts. Students and staff are going to have to be wearing them indoors all day long, so they should start getting used to it now.
Beyond the ridiculous consistency of the order, I take issue with two points: Why is a blanket mandate for the entire state necessary? And, why should those who are able to social distance within their office - away from the general public - be required to wear masks all day long in your office?
For example, in our office, everyone is properly social distanced or separated by walls. We hadn't been wearing face masks for months and had no problems. What changed in our office, overnight?
What about counties with single-digit cases. Why should those counties be required to wear face masks?
What's good for the metro area, where COVID-19 is a hot spot, is not good for parts of Greater Minnesota.
I've groused and complained and, after only a couple weeks, am tired of looking at face masked people. I want to see faces again. I want to see expressions - even anger, frowns and displeasure - because I know there is delight, happiness and smiles, too.
Even more troublesome is that, thanks to Walz having been granted executive powers, only he can choose when the face mask mandate ends - or if the Senate and House override him, which, of course, isn't going to happen in a Democrat-controlled House.
If cases climb ("We need to wear them") or decline ("it's working") he's not going to life the mandate. So, when will he lift it? He hasn't said, and I'm quite sure won't.
I'm not so sure that even if an effective vaccine is developed, he won't lift it until everyone in the state has been vaccinated.
And how are we going to know that? Are we going to get a "Get-out-of-mask FREE" card?
OK, I've aired my frustrations, so now let's have a little fun.
A new look?
You'll no doubt notice that I've got a new photo for my column. I thought it appropriate to include with my dissertation on the ills of masking.
So, here's my question: Do I continue to run the Masked Fjeld photo or the Unmasked Fjeld photo?
My suggestion is that I continue to run the masked photo until the governor ends his mandate, which should be sometime, hopefully, in 2021?
Or, do you appreciate actually looking at a face - even one as homely, ill-favored, unappealing, unattractive, unbeautiful, uncomely, unhandsome, unlovely, unpleasing, unpretty, or unsightly as mine.
Of course, I can already hear a number of you suggesting that I keep the mask or, better yet, just get rid of my mug altogether.
Others, as few and far between as you may be, may still want to see the unmasked me.
So, for the next week, I'm going to take a poll from you readers.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a simple "Mask" or "No Mask" and I'll log your vote. You're welcome to share a comment if you chose. But beware, I may run it in my column - anonymously, of course! However, please be gentle, I have a fragile ego.
You can also call me or talk to Michelle or Tammy at the Citizen - you don't even have to give me your name - and just say "Mask" or "No Mask."
There is one stipulation: since Cottonwood County has had 178 cases of COVID-19, which is 1.5% of the county's population, I will need at least 1.5% of our circulation, which is roughly 30 votes.
If I don't get at least 30 votes, the vote is off - and I'll feel really bad, but not surprised, that fewer than 30 people read my column.
If there's a tie, I'll let my publisher decide if I'll be masked or unmasked for the duration.
Let the voting begin.