Gary Litke: Why I put my mask back on
I’m in my 70s and got my COVID-19 shot as soon as it was available. I trust the science behind the vaccine development now, just as I did when I got my polio shots as a kid, and when I had my children vaccinated as they grew up.
I wore a mask when I went out in public. Not because the government told me to, but because it was the smart thing to do. Believe me, I was as happy as anyone when we came out from under the virus and could take the masks off.
But now, I’ve put my mask back on when I go out. I was in a crowded supermarket today and noticed that most people weren’t wearing masks. While shopping I was asked by someone why I was wearing one again, and I wanted to tell him it was because:
— On July 30 Nevada County saw a daily case rate increase of 66, with 449 total new cases since July 1.
— California’s seven-day average new case rate as I write this is 8,393, with 4.04 million total cases and over 64,400 total deaths.
— In the U.S., there have been over 35 million cases and over 613,000 deaths.
— The Delta variant is rampant and can infect even those who have been vaccinated, increasing the chance of my passing the disease to my granddaughter, who is not yet old enough to be vaccinated, to my family or to those of you who have foolishly chosen to not get your shots.
— I don’t believe any of the far-right conspiracy theories that include the vaccine making you magnetic, or infertile, or causing the variants and increasing deaths, or alters your DNA, or puts a microchip in you so you can be tracked and controlled by Bill Gates. This is insanity.
— I believe the local businesses that are advocating against masks and the vaccine are hurting our community and are helping to infect not only our bodies, but our minds and souls as well.
— I believe that those who have argued and protested the loudest about having to wearing masks or get vaccinated are the very ones who have brought about the increase in COVID-19 cases and the need to start wearing masks again.
— I believe the government is not trying to control me and is doing everything it can to bring about an end to this virus and allow us all to return to normalcy.
— I don’t want to see our local business shut down again and have people lose their jobs.
— I want to continue to be able to go out to eat in our local restaurants and sit inside when it’s hot or when cold weather returns. I love going to the movies to see a film, and don’t want the theaters to have to close again.
— I want our kids to be able to go to school every day and not have to struggle with Zoom learning.
— I care about my family and all of Grass Valley, and don’t want to see anyone get sick because I was too callous, lazy or distrustful to wear one.
But I didn’t tell the person any of this. I simply said I’m wearing the mask because it is the right thing to do.
Gary Litke lives in Grass Valley.
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“You’ve heard me say this before: Every acre can and will burn someday in this state” — Cal Fire Director Thom Porter.