Please man up and mask up

The recent resurgence in COVID-19 cases in this region and others around the country begs the question: how do we stop the increase in cases?

Some make the claim that more virus testing naturally leads to more reported cases. True enough, to a point. But it is painfully obvious that there is more to the rise in infections than more testing creates.

Positive tests for workers in at least five Cheyenne area restaurants have been recently reported. For the first time since the virus hit, I had lunch inside a local restaurant with my son earlier this week. The announcement about the infected restaurant workers came out the next day. Luckily, the restaurant we lunched at was not on the list having those cases. Although one of those restaurants had been on our short list, we ended up chosing a different one for lunch. Probably my best decision in a long time. Now we’re mostly back to curb side pick-up and delivery to support local restaurants.

Others subscribe to the idea that we just need to be open things up all the way to establish herd immunity, believing that is the only way we can beat this disease. But that won’t work to protect my 88 year old parents and all those with compromised immune systems.

So, how about we all maintain discipline in social distancing, hand washing, AND wearing masks when we are around other people in crowds and indoors for the time being. Yes, I know some think the virus is a hoax, or that they are healthy and won’t get it. But a little inconvenience for a while longer is not that difficult to deal with.

This country was founded on enlightened self interest and individual responsiblility. I am a big believer in both, and would never advocate for forced government compliance of these measures. It is common sense that should rule, and common sense indicates we should all do what we can, within reason, to keep ourselves and others safe and healthy.

That does not mean a full quaranteen and shut down of our lives. It is reasonable to practice social distancing, wearing masks when appropriate, hand washing, and taking extra precautions to protect those who need it most. If we live our lives while following these guidelines, we can beat back the spread of COVID-19 with little disruption to what we do.

Our political and medical leaders promise a vaccine as early as the end of the year or early 2021. It is not ideal, but we can live with these inconveniences for a while longer if we have to.

My wife and I would like to be able to visit our out of state grandkids. We have not seen them since before the virus hit. We have plans to travel there soon, but that trip won’t happen if one of us gets exposed to the virus. So we are trying to be especially careful right now so we aren’t faced with that crushing decision.

Many of you are in similar situations and are hoping and praying that you can see your loved ones and friends. The last thing you want to find out is that you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. Or worse yet, you have carried the virus and infected others important to you. So, for all our sakes, let’s all man up and mask up.