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BOCC needs to mandate masks

By Staff | Aug 21, 2020

To the editor:

Further to the July letter of Lee Health medical staff and considering the dire situation we are mired in almost one month later, it is extremely disturbing that the very Lee County Commissioners we, the tax paying residents voted in to keep us healthy and safe, have dropped the ball. Mandating masks has been proven globally, along with social distancing and hand washing, to be the only measures we all can adopt to drastically lower our infection numbers. Whereas Florida was hovering at 15,000 several weeks ago, we appear to be fluctuating between 4,000 to 8,500 cases the past week. Flattening the curve at thousands of cases daily is unacceptable.

Lee County is no shining beacon of light. Whereas the commissioners have the power to put the brakes on the spread, they choose to follow the path of Gov. Ron DeSantis, who follows the path of President Donald Trump, who has declared himself a specialist in virology and shuns the advice of the well experienced scientists and doctors. Shame on them.

I have read the scripted letter of Lee County Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass and my sympathy goes out for the loss of a family member to this dreaded virus. But, what will it take to mandate masks? Loss of a spouse or child of one of our politicians, heaven forbid? To “highly suggest” the wearing of masks is really a copout. This is a war. Were the commissioners to have soldiers heading off to the battlefield, would they simply “highly suggest” they carry guns and ammunition? Not everyone is kind, caring, compassionate and community minded. Too many are regarding this as a political imposition on their personal freedom. How did the USA ever get to be a country so divided, so selfish?

At this time, the commissioners are hearing from many of us who are asking that they step up and mandate masks. There are many other measures we can adopt to lower the transmission rate, as other states have wisely done. If further restrictions are needed, we expect the commissioners to be ready to implement strong action. Have a plan. Be prepared. That’s what good governance is all about.

Keep healthy. Keep safe.

Dr. Michael Derechin

Nessa Adelson