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Letter to the Editor: Wearing a mask is a simple public health measure

Posted: Mon, Sep 14, 2020 11:52 AM

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Leslie Elsbernd of Decorah):
"For the past eight years that I have lived in Decorah, I have been careful to spend my money at local businesses.  I have purchased my groceries, gotten my hair done, fixed my car, and bought nearly everything at locally owned businesses, as I thought that these establishments would provide for the wellbeing of our community more than corporate chains.
I am so disappointed to see some of these local businesses now failing to demonstrate the care and concern for our community that we have shown them in the past.  I see that some salons, a grocery store, and other local businesses where I used to shop are not requiring all patrons and employees to undergo such a simple gesture as to wear a face covering.  However, mask wearing is mandatory at many national chains operating in Decorah.  Masking is not a political statement or a sign of weakness or an infringement on personal liberties.  It is a simple public health measure that shows one's respect and value for others. 
I can't help but think what a sad reflection this is on our town that I now feel safer and more valued by Wal-Mart than I do by some of our local businesses.  I have done my part to keep downtown Decorah and local businesses afloat.  I would like to continue to support our local economy, but if there is not universal masking in your establishment, I will be directing my money elsewhere."