From: Reggie McLeod
Eleven people have died from COVID in Winona County since the City Council and County Board decided against a mask mandate.
In the U.S. now, more more than two or three times as as many people are dying from COVID every week as died in the 9/11 attacks.
If 11 people in the county had died last fall from terrorists attacks, traffic accidents or house fires, our local elected officials and residents would be frantic, but many of us have grown accustomed to the deaths and overcrowded hospitals. Some of our elected officials are sitting through long meetings indoors without bothering to wear a mask. They are showing their disrespect for their fellow officials and the public employees who are also at the meetings.
They should all be showing some interest in this problem. The very least they could do would be to invite a medical professional from the community — perhaps the county nurse, or a nurse or doctor from one of the clinics — to provide a brief update at every meeting while this pandemic is raging.
Perhaps they would be uncomfortable learning about the damage the pandemic is causing and the burden it is putting on medical professionals, teachers, families and others in our community.
New COVID infections here are likely to explode in the next couple of weeks. I hope that all of our public officials will do their jobs and see that the community minimizes the suffering and damage. They could begin this by listening to some of the doctors and nurses on the front lines fighting the pandemic.
Editor’s note: 11 Winona County residents have died since August 2021, when the County Board first considered a mask mandate. A final decision to nix a possible mandate wasn’t made until November.