Stop whining and put on a mask

Dear Editor:

A recent article in the Daily News stated that the Rush County Sheriff’s Department would not enforce the governor’s statewide mask mandate. The story noted the sheriff’s concerns with the fact the mandate was not a law enacted by the government and therefore somehow violated the rights of citizens. He [the sheriff] considered it “null and void.”

My understanding is that a mask controls the spread of our current virus problem mainly by keeping infectious particles inside the mask, thereby preventing an infected person from spreading the disease beyond his/her immediate vicinity. Lots of healthy-appearing people may be unknowingly carrying this disease, so it seems to me that the rights of healthy people can be infringed upon by infected folks who take no steps to control their potential for infecting others, including yours truly!

As a recent recipient of 44 radiation treatments for prostate cancer, I was told “don’t get sick!” One possible effect of these procedures is a lowering of the auto-immune system, so the last thing I need to develop is some sort of respiratory disorder, e.g. COVID-19.

I feel I have a right to health as much as present-day technology can make possible.

Lots of people equate being forced to wear a mask with something akin to motorcycle riders being required to wear helmets, as was tried several years ago in Indiana. Not the same deal, people. That quickly rescinded law was only going to protect the wearer, not anyone else. As noted earlier, wearing a mask is going to do as much, if not more, to protect one’s fellow man. “My mask protects you, yours protects me.”

Don’t wait for a sheriff, mayor, governor or the POTUS to tell you to don a mask around others – put it on and stop whining!

Thanks much!

Loren Beck, Greensburg

PS: As a 71-year-old with similarly aged body parts, I feel it’s to my advantage the helmet law was dropped. Spring-time cycle wrecks involving helmet-less 20-year-olds (out enjoying their bare-headed rights) are a great source of healthy hearts for transplants to us old codgers! Cruel to say, but true. Ask any heart surgeon.

Clarifying the vote by mail issue in Indiana

Dear Editor:

I just read your editorial on absentee voting by mail for the November 3rd election. I fear you are confusing the voters, because it states that we are forcing voters to vote in person and refusing to let them vote by mail.

Absentee voting by mail has always been available. I understand that it states that the Governor will not allow no excuse voting by mail. (I would have to check, but I’m not sure this is solely his decision. I believe it has to be approved by the Indiana Election Commission through the Secretary of State’s office.) In the primary, it was made available with no reason declared as to why a person was voting by mail. However, there are 12 reasons that a person can vote by mail, and I am reasonably certain that one of them could apply to anyone wanting to vote by mail instead of going to the polls.

And while it is true that many voters chose to vote absentee by mail in the spring because of the virus, the available time was shortened for in-person voting from a month to six days. In those six days, Rush County had 250 people vote absentee in person. And for those voters who chose or prefer to vote in person, we used every precaution which included, face masks, face shields, hand sanitizer, social distancing, and wiping the machines, pens, styluses and table surfaces with disinfectant. We also asked (not required) voters to wear face masks.

Rush County already has 150 absentee by mail applications for the general election, and ballots will not be mailed until the middle of September.

I would appreciate it if you would inform the voters that they may vote by mail, even though the governor is not in favor of “no excuse voting by mail.”

Thank you very much.

Debbie Richardson Rush County Election Deputy

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