Glen Nickerson

Glen Nickerson

The mask debate is just about everywhere lately.

I’ve been wondering why this is such a big deal. I put my mask on when I stop by the grocery store and in crowded areas. It looks like about half the people in the stores are doing the same.

A recent online survey that we did at the Sun asked if residents should be required to wear a mask in public. The results were YES at 49%, NO at 48% and TORN at 3%. It’s pretty evenly split — surprisingly to me. This is not an official survey, but it’s still interesting.

Wearing a mask seems like a relatively easy CDC-recommended preventive measure to slow the spread of the disease. All we have to do is three simple things: Wash our hands frequently, distance and wear a mask.

Not bad. Better than being stuck at home.

Since the disease spreads mostly by droplets from our breathing, sneezing and coughing, I’m thinking mask wearing is the most important part of the CDC recommendations.

In many places wearing a mask is now an ordinance or an order of some type. I’m not sure how the enforcement is going, but once the local or state government passes it, I think the vast majority of people will comply.

I’m surprised our local and state leaders didn’t pass something to make sure masks are worn in public places. It was an outstanding opportunity to save lives and prevent the spread in our communities. Seems like an easy win for politicians.

Politics seem to be part of the problem though. I have no idea why. This is not political.


But, I do have a fun idea to address the politics of it. Democrats can wear blue masks. Republicans can wear red masks. A fun competition to see which party can show their colored masks off better. Maybe a MAGA mask?

At the Sun, our parent company, Adams Publishing Group, made it a policy this week requiring all employees and customers to wear masks while in offices. They’re also reimbursing employees for buying masks.

It was a smart move to protect our employees and our customers as we reopen to the public soon. It’s also crucial that we do not have an outbreak in our offices. We will cover local news no matter what happens, so we play it safe.

In our communities, it’s now up to the businesses to save lives and require masks. It’s up to the residents too.

What’s it like wearing a mask at work? Well, within the first couple of hours of wearing a mask this week, I was annoyed. It’s hot, uncomfortable and it makes it hard for people to hear what you’re saying. Nobody wants to smell their own breath all day long. We’ll be buying more breath mints.

I think about the poor servers, especially those who have to work outside. I’m complaining about working in an air-conditioned office.

I understand why so many don’t want to mask up. But unfortunately, this is the best solution to stop the spread of this terrible virus.

We have to keep our lives in this somewhat normal status we’re in until a vaccine is developed.

Please mask up to save lives.

Glen Nickerson is the publisher and editor of The Daily Sun serving Charlotte, DeSoto and Sarasota counties. He can be reached at glen.nickerson@yoursun.com.

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