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Ellen Ott Gundersen: Disgusted with council decision

Ellen Ott Gundersen: Disgusted with council decision

From the COLLECTION: Winona residents sound off about mask mandate & council vote series
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I would like to express my disappointment and disgust over the city council overturning the city wide mask mandate. There is absolutely no inherent right to refuse to abide by reasonable public health measures. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court several times, including in smallpox and influenza outbreaks. The government DOES have the right to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. Indeed, this is the government’s mandate.

We need to talk less about our individual rights and freedoms and focus more on our responsibilities to each other. Yes, it’s true that the delta variant is raging because we haven’t achieved higher vaccination rates and that is frustrating. However, that doesn’t obviate the need to protect those who are at risk including children. It’s not true that Covid will not cause serious illness in children. Especially when they have additional coexisting respiratory infections, Covid can be dangerous for children. Data is starting to emerge regarding the risk to children when they are not in school too. Our current rates threaten the ability to keep children in school.

Those who rail against mask mandates as a violation of rights need to consider their obligations as well. Rights come with those too. Our elected city council members Repinski, Young, Alexander and Borzyskowski, have let the majority of us down. Ironically those who are unvaccinated are usually the reluctant mask wearers citing their “right” to be unconcerned about anyone else’s welfare. Those four council members are representing them and have essentially asked the rest of us including those that are most vulnerable to fend for ourselves.

Ellen Ott Gundersen 

Winona

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