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Local

Guest editorial: A simple request: Masks … PLEASE

John S. Hoelzer
John S. Hoelzer

My fellow Americans, I need your help. I have an elderly parent. I have elderly in-laws who are both in senior living facilities. Two of those three served our country in the armed forces.

I am certain that all Americans have or are close friends with those who have parents, grandparents, and extended family in those same situations. Some of you have family and friends who are charged with the care of those individuals and many more in doctor offices and hospitals around the country. So … Masks. PLEASE.

I am from rural Lee County in northern Illinois. I live on a farm. The likelihood of COVID-19 exposure is small, yet when I or family members are out in public we wear masks. Not all people do, hence, I am asking you as fellow Americans. So, I ask you for masks … PLEASE

Two hundred and forty-four years ago, the Declaration of Independence declared, “… among these (rights) are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” It is no coincidence that life is the first stated. Life preempts the desires of both other “unalienable rights.”

In these times, all Americans, regardless of what political leadership from any party might say to us, should declare life as our priority even at the expense of a little liberty and happiness. So, I ask you for masks … PLEASE.

Those words from the Declaration were written to convince Americans to put their lives on the line for the cause. In this time, our common cause is to live within a pandemic.

In common causes that arose from military wars, Americans were called to unite, to take on new roles, and to demonstrate cohesive love for their country and their fellow citizens.

We can do this now as well. We can save the life of those who sacrificed for our country. We as individual citizens can unite as one massive armed force for the life of each member of our society by doing something very simple. So, I ask you for masks … PLEASE.

As of this writing, on June 18, according to Worldometers.info, about .7% of our population nationwide has tested positive, and of those, 5.3% gave their “last full measure of devotion."

Without testing everyone, the stability of the percent testing positive can fluctuate. However, the 5.3% number is known.They tested positive and they died. That number has remained relatively stable the last 2 months.

Ponder that a little: 5.3% of those who test positive perish. That's 1 in 20. So for those who think it’s too small of a chance to worry about, would you risk catching any ailment from which you have a 1 in 20 possibility to die, or worse yet, pass it on to the elderly? So, I ask you for masks … PLEASE.

I want everyone who lost a job to go back to work. I want everyone to enjoy their “pursuit of happiness” events. I want everyone to enjoy their liberties. However, I hope that all Americans want their fellow Americans to have a life.

If you could save a life that is not your own, would you not do so? Well, guess what, You can save a life, and it does not cost you the loss of freedom or liberty. If all Americans united to save as many of those as they could, think of what we as a united country could accomplish.

We have the collective individual ability to lead this country better than those we elected. Let us show the world what American leadership really looks like. We should not need a mandate. So, I ask you for masks … PLEASE.

John S. Hoelzer of Paw Paw is "a retired teacher, farmer, family man and fellow American."

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