After almost a week of daily visits to one of our local box stores — and being able to do so mask free — imagine my chagrin this week when I was told we need to mask back up.

I am exasperated by this change of policy. Both our distinguished governor and the ever-so-popular CDC recently announced that people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear masks outdoors, which was crazy in the first place, nor indoors.

Yes, the most highly exalted Kate Brown also said mask mandates could now be decided by all local businesses. I get that. In speaking with a manager at the local box store in question, I was told that they can't afford to post a person at the door to check vaccination records. and they can't trust people to be honest. As a frequent user of this store, I asked why they can be so untrusting of citizens — Oregonians no less — but trust that every dog coming through their doors is a service animal and not just a pampered pet. No answer. I am as concerned about fleas, dog dirt, dog hair, etc. getting on my food and clothing, as I am about being infected with COVID at this time.

It seems pretty obvious by now that there's no way in the world that anywhere near 75 percent of the people in this country are gonna take this vaccination. Does that mean that we all have to wear masks for the rest of our lives? I certainly hope not.

If people don't want the vaccination, that's their business. I don't care. But we shouldn't hold back freedoms from people who are no longer a threat to the unvaccinated. If people don't trust each other to do what's right, why should local businesses become the defacto protector for the unvaccinated?

I see two choices: get vaccinated or stay home. I, for one, am sick and tired of being told what to do, when to do it, where to do it and when I can stop.

Ted Smith


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