Recently, I called my son and asked him and his family not to come for Thanksgiving. Never would I have imaged that I would do such a thing. But after much pondering, my husband and I decided it just isn’t safe for them to come to Enid.

It was a hard call to make, but I am not alone in making that call. We had plans for visiting Leonardo’s and going to the new ice-skating rink. Now, like so many, we will be celebrating over Zoom.

The thing is it probably didn’t have to be this way. We could have avoided this crisis. On Memorial Day weekend, we had 26 cases and one death from COVID-19 in Garfield County. This weekend we have 3,028 cases, 34 deaths, nearly full hospitals and extremely overworked and exhausted health care workers.

Over the summer, we fought about masks and our rights. City officials made the decision not to mandate masks. I, like many people, have been an avid mask wearer to protect myself and others. But there are some things that need more than volunteer participation — stop signs come to mind.

As I see it, mandating mask wearing is one of those important lifesaving things. An article in the Tulsa World newspaper on Friday, Nov. 13, proves this. It quotes the weekly state epidemiology report: ”COVID-19 cases per capita in municipalities with mask orders grew 34% from Aug. 1 to Nov. 11, while cases in parts of Oklahoma without a mandate rose by 109%.”

It is my hope that our city officials, and the governor for that matter, will reconsider their position and make Enid and our state a safe place to live and visit again by mandating masks. I want everyone to be around to celebrate Thanksgiving 2021 in Enid.

Gail Wynne

Enid

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