I visited Enid last week due to my grandmother passing away in her nursing home because of COVID-19. The stark contrast in COVID-19 protocols that are being practiced in Enid compared to Kansas City (where I currently live) is too drastic to even compare.

In my experience from last week, I saw countless people not wearing masks, avoiding social distancing guidelines, and treated the virus as if it didn’t exist. “Masks Are Required” signs were on every establishment I went to, the staff of places were a mix of actually wearing masks appropriately, wearing masks around their chin or not wearing masks at all — all the while not enforcing the mask “rule.”

I had to distance myself away from my family, in a hotel room, for two days and three nights, as I tried to grieve with them over the phone. I had to watch my grandmother’s funeral online, because she died of a preventable virus.

Repeatedly, I hear from people in Enid, “it’s just one person” when someone dies from COVID-19. My grandmother was not “just” any person. My grandmother was a mother. She was a best friend. She had such an impact to countless others beyond my own family. And her life should’ve been prolonged.

Elected officials: You have a duty to serve and protect your communities. From my understanding, only one official has made several attempts in protecting Enid residents, and now he is set for recall in a few months because he actively cares about his constituents. This radical effort in wanting to condemn someone for setting up protective protocols is both embarrassing and asinine.

I plead with people in Enid: wear a mask; believe in science; stay home when you can. COVID-19 isn’t going anywhere, and we must act together to prevent other deaths.

Levi Sanders

Kansas City, Mo.

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