To the Editor:
“As residents of Gasconade County, my wife and I are dismayed by the lack of awareness the Gasconade County Commissioners are displaying with regard to the reasonable precaution to wear masks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Further, the Gasconade County Health Department, Hermann Hospital Medical Director and just about any other subject matter expert also recommend their wearing in public.
The notion that no one has died in Gasconade County from COVID-19 as a basis for not mandating their use is dangerously short sighted; ‘Miskel noted, there has been no death reported as a result of the virus, adding that there is no basis for a countywide requirement to wear masks’. This begs the question; is Commissioner Miskel alone in his position or is there dissention since the other Commissioners are not quoted? This also reminds the reader that this isn’t the first time Commissioner Miskel has reversed himself on wearing masks. Could the potentially unpopular decision to mandate mask usage be politically motivated due to upcoming elections?
Gasconade County is a tourist destination with Hermann attracting people outside of the county, potentially bringing with them the virus. Additionally, many county residents work in Franklin and St. Louis County’s, where there virus is very active and easily transmitted, thus bringing it back with them. Any way you categorize it, to not take reasonable precautions puts everyone in jeopardy.
Unpopular decisions sometimes go with the territory of real leadership. To turn away from the basic mandate of protecting the citizens by affirmative decision making fails the test of true leadership. And, will the leadership once again reverse itself, god forbid, a COVID-19 death happens?