(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."