To the Editor:
It took our tri-county area until June last year to reach 800 cases of COVID-19. Now, eight months later, according to Saturday’s numbers, we are racking up over 800 cases per day in our local three counties. The same goes for our state. Around April 14 we topped 20,000 cases but today we are near 20,000 new infections a day. The math is hard to ignore.
This is the time to increase our vigilance, not get lax. Yet, in the past 24 hours I have observed more people than ever not wearing a mask. I asked the employee working behind the desk at one of our country clubs about it and she said about half of those checking in for golf Friday were maskless. Saturday at the grocery store I saw more customers without masks. I asked the cashier and she said there were more not wearing masks than had been the case in the past. I feel empathy for those employees who face this careless behavior. Add to that, our state sees the most cases in the country of the new, more contagious strain.
These “no maskers” are not predominantly seniors. And in my opinion, they are deliberately parading around in defiance of what is a simple request. What I wish for is that our community take a stronger stance. I would like The Villages to replace the words “masks requested” with the words “masks required”.
I read there are 200 vaccine appointments available in Sumter County this coming week. There are 120,000 of us in The Villages. Until we get shots in the arm, we need to REQUIRE mask wearing to stay safe and healthy. And we need to commit to it and get serious.
Village of Del Mar