These times are trying the souls of all humankind. We are dealing with an unknown enemy that is threatening our health, our economy, and our way of life. Our knowledge of ways to defeat this virus is limited. Short of a cure or a vaccine, which now is beyond our reach, we must come together. Many projections have been incorrect and the data has been inconsistent. People are not sure what to do and do not know what to believe. However, it is clear that we are all in this together and we need every citizen to join our army to defeat it. The medical community nor public officials cannot defeat it alone. You are the best weapon that we now have.
Efforts across Texas must be unified, so we depend on County and State orders to ensure all Texans are working together in combatting this disease. We have been ordered by the Governor and the Tarrant County Judge to practice social distancing, to wear a mask when out in public, to use good hygiene, and stay at home as much as possible. I realize people are tired of staying home and many do not want to wear a mask, especially in this Texas summer heat.
I have heard the arguments made by those against wearing a mask and I believe they all pale compared to the devastating consequences we will all suffer if we do not comply. Additionally, I have seen much of the scientific evidence, which has convinced me that masks do effectively reduce the community spread of COVID-19. The requirement to wear a mask is only temporary, so to comply does not give up any civil rights in my opinion.
It remains unknown which of us will get the disease and which of us will die from it. Therefore, we need to protect ourselves and those we love. If you feel invincible to the virus and feel you do not need to wear a mask, then I ask you to do so for the following reasons:
- Do it for the elderly and those who have underlying health conditions whose lives are most at risk.
- Do it for the medical personnel that have treated the sick until they are exhausted.
- Do it for the teachers who soon will be at risk and have to work twice as hard to teach in the classroom and online.
- Do it for the schoolchildren so they will have a chance to get back in the classroom this fall.
- Do it for those who have lost their jobs and are unemployed, to give them a chance to get back to work and support their families.
- Do it for the millions of Americans in danger of their homes being foreclosed on in the next few months.
- Do it so you can look back when this period is behind us and feel proud that you did your part in defeating COVID-19.
- Do it to set a good example.
If for no other reason, do it because it is the polite thing to do.
Not wearing a face-covering could result in civil penalties. However, even more harmful would be for our economy to be shut down again. We cannot afford this alternative, so I ask that everyone voluntarily comply.
I appreciate the majority of our citizens who have already joined the fight and are doing everything they can to conquer this virus. Please encourage others to do the same.
Be blessed and stay encouraged, Grapevine.
Mayor William D. Tate