Businesses are reopening in Wisconsin but some of you are still not going to be happy. Just because Governor Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order is done, that does not mean the Coronavirus is going away.

There is still a need to try to be safe: limit store occupancy, keep a social distance and wear masks when appropriate.

Unfortunately, the last precaution has become the most controversial. There are unorganized boycotts of Menards and other retailers who are requiring the wearing of masks as well as incidents at the stores. There hasn’t been this much controversy over masks since Clayton Moore was banned from playing the Lone Ranger.

Former state Rep. Michelle Litjens-Vos even suggested people should find “local” hardware stores instead to do their shopping, forgetting Menards is a Wisconsin company. John Menard is even a major Republican contributor.

Do people like wearing masks? No. But is refusing to wear a mask really striking a blow against tyranny, or is it just needless posturing that may be endangering employees and your fellow consumers? If a private business requires you to wear shoes, a shirt and maybe pants, do you let your “Don’t tread on me” flag fly?

The point of wearing a mask is not to protect yourself but to protect others. Just because you do not have the symptoms of the Coronavirus, it does not mean you are not a contagious carrier of the disease. Wearing the mask may prevent the spread of the virus to others.

Instead of being angry with a private business for trying to protect its employees, you should focus that energy on your handwashing. 

The number one weapon in fighting a pandemic is human decency. If we think about others, we’ll limit the disease’s power over us. But if we’re selfish, and we behave without thought of what our actions may cause, the disease will continue to spread and the number of fatalities will continue to grow.

Some of us are old enough to remember when wearing a mask was a sign of moral courage. When Israel was attacked by Iraqi scud missiles and there was real fear of chemical weapon warheads, violinist Isaac Stern continued to play to an audience of gas mask wearers.

Wearing a thin hospital mask to get a cheap box of light bulbs seems a small sacrifice in comparison. Go ahead and decorate it with the Gadsden flag.

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