Mask Unmasking

From the Editor

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Unless you’ve been purposefully ignoring everybody, you’ve heard the news that Reno County has officially lifted the mask mandate. This is a big step for Kansas. Just like the state of Texas, masks are off the Reno county agenda, for now. So, what’s the next step? What is the next path for us to take to get back to where we started? Well, to understand that, we must first understand what the mask unmasking means for Reno County and for all of the things inside of Reno.

Starting with what the situation is at the minute, the mask mandate lifting isn’t all as simple as it seems. Yes, the local government has dropped the mandate, but that doesn’t mean that masks aren’t still in use across the county. Many, if not, all schools in the Reno County area still have masks as a part of their school days. The democratic process moves slowly. With the repeal of the mandate at the county level, all of the smaller public/private organizations must decide whether or not to keep it. In the case of Haven High School, their administration plans to meet at their next Board of Education meeting to discuss the issue. The administration will likely choose to make changes in their current policy, whether or not that means immediate demasking is still up for debate. Perhaps, they will set a later date for its decision or they may choose to agree with the county’s decision. Regardless, their decision will no doubt mirror the decisions of many other school districts in the Reno area.

Just like the schools, private businesses must also decide whether or not to accept the county’s newest decision. They could very well request that masks be worn in their establishments, deciding against the county decision. There are in fact, many places that haven’t changed their policies nor will they. The reason for this could be many things. One of which is the recent reports from the CDC. Essentially, the CDC warns that while the amount of inoculated Americans is rising, the threat of the virus remains high for people at risk. Some reports go as far as speculating that there will be another outburst. The hope is, that the increased number of people with the vaccine will slow the spread in the event of another outbreak. Regardless of whether that speculation is true, however, privately owned businesses either have or will face the decision of whether or not to unmask with their new-found freedom.

Lastly, there are us, the consumers. The people who walk into all these different public/privately owned places each and every day. Now, unmasked city-goers are commonplace everywhere. So in that sense, not much has changed at all really. But the situation is a little bit different for places that request you wear a mask despite the county decision. Private businesses may very well ask you to don a mask for customer safety.

Regardless of any beliefs, you have on this matter, one thing is important to realize. We are all just people. We all have different understandings of the way things are. If one person chooses to wear a mask when another doesn’t it doesn’t matter much at all. In fact, strive to make it not matter. What’s the sense in getting into an argument with someone, over beliefs that won’t change regardless of the exchange of words you get into? If I were to put it in a sentence, I would say this; be good people to everyone else, you never know what someone is going through in times like these.

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