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Norb Plassmeyer

Freeburg

Dear Editor:

My friend, an old judge, was asked, "Why does the mask thing irk you?" He replied:

I was thinking about why the mask thing irks me. I know I'm required here to say I have no problem with it lest you think me a misanthrope. I think our society has become risk-averse to a point that would appall my parents and my ancestors.

My ancestors actually crossed an ocean in a boat in a time of typhoid, yellow fever, tuberculosis, measles, polio, etc. Today, we're afraid to go out of our house even though these diseases are gone.

I know I sound like a grumpy old man. Even so, I remember when I was too young to walk to school my mother put me on a school bus with 40 other coughing, sneezing kids. Sometimes she drove me. My 5-foot 2-inch mother drove me in a car without power steering, power brakes, seat belts, shoulder harness, airbags or car seats. I would stand in the front seat unable to see over the dashboard while my mother drove this big car while smoking.

All of this was happening before the polio vaccine. The polio scare was real. Today, it would be the great polio pandemic. It filled hearts with real fear. Yet it never would have occurred to anyone to cancel school or church. School is where I got my polio vaccine after it was invented.

Some people are so risk-averse they pay the bank to hold their money. This is called negative interest rate. My county's COVID-19 death rate is way lower than our murder rate, and we are a tame county. Our automobile accident death rate is far greater than from COVID-19, yet we are still driving. Yet, our schools and churches are closed, restaurants and businesses have failed, and I don't get it.

We're safer, almost as safe as negative interest, but are we better? There is no question now where the snowflakes and safe places on college campuses come from.

That summarizes my thoughts. Bad as the COVID-19 thing is, and it is bad, it does not approach the harm arising from mental health issues and financial collapse resulting from the expert-imposed shutdowns.

Wear a mask if you want to, but be sure to dispose of it correctly. Then let's go back to church, work, school and family.

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