Reader letter

Let’s commit to wearing a mask

Remember when we could smoke everywhere? Then it turned out that smoking could kill you. Lung cancer, heart disease. There was a reason that movies in the ‘40s called cigarettes “coffin nails.”

Researchers and scientists and doctors kept saying, “We have to ban it; it’s killing people.”

So, it happened. NO SMOKING signs appeared everywhere. We finally accepted the ban and eventually it came to be normal not to smoke indoors in public places. You could still smoke if you wished but not everywhere.

I smoked at the time. My first encounter with restrictions on smoking came when I flew in from New York City, met friends at a Minneapolis restaurant and was surprised by the hostess asking me: “Do you want smoking or no smoking?” That was a shock. Manhattan had no such restrictions at that time. But then, I thought, “That’s Minnesota for you ... always on the cutting edge of looking out for the health of its citizens.”

But are we still as committed to the health of our citizens?

About wearing masks: All evidence has shown that wearing masks reduces the spread of COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, public health officials, epidemiologists, medical researchers, scientists, many politicians and others beg us to wear masks.

In Minnesota, because there is no state mandate so far, individual cities have decided on their own to say that everybody must wear masks in their town while inside public places — cities like Rochester, Mankato, Winona, Edina, and the Twin Cities — and others are considering it.

Yes, those are larger cities than Litchfield, but I say as our county infection rate keeps slowly rising .. Litchfield, let’s be the first of our smaller communities to say, “If you want to visit our town, you must wear a mask when you are inside public places.”

Carole Wendt, Litchfield