I want to share a conversation I had with a Redlands friend. Some people she knew, who were wearing masks, recently went to an outdoor establishment in Redlands for a few beers. A group of young men chastised them for wearing masks, called them derogatory names and implied that COVID-19 was a hoax. I am concerned about this. I believe that wearing masks not only helps to restrict the transfer of this often-deadly virus but ultimately can help our economy.  

Small businesses that have once again been closed down due to the resurgence of the virus may now end up having to close down permanently. Hair and nail salons, for example, took huge and expensive steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I do not believe they are the reason we need to have a shutdown again. I believe that the unwillingness to wear a mask and practice social distancing are the main reasons for the surge in COVID cases.  

I say to Redlands residents: if you are openly defying guidelines and making fun of people who are trying to follow the guidelines, you may be threatening local businesses that continue to be heavily hurt by this virus.  Please consider that our small businesses need us to do what we can to curb the spread of this virus. Shutdowns are just too hard on businesses who are doing their best to survive. Please consider that many people’s livelihoods and lives are at stake.

Ward Krause, Redlands