Ask residents to wear a mask

SIDNEY — Mayors across Shelby County have united and are asking local residents to wear a mask.

“Economically, we cannot afford another shutdown,” said Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst in response to Gov. Mike DeWine’s mandatory mask requirement announced Wednesday night. “In addition, we have to restore confidence that people can go out and resume their lives, something that is impossible when the rate of cases in Ohio and Shelby County continues to rise exponentially (cases in Ohio have risen from 1,000 per day to 2,000 per day to 3000 per day to 4000 per day to 5,000 per day to 6,000 per day in just over one month.) We believe that wearing masks, maintaining a social distance, and avoiding large groups will save lives, and help to restore a vibrant economy.”

Signing the press release were Barhorst, Fort Loramie Mayor Randy Ahlers, Port Jefferson Mayor Steve Butterfield, Russia Mayor Terry Daughtery, Lockington Mayor Tracy Johnson, Kettlersville Mayor Eric Kaminsky, Jackson Center Mayor Scott Klopfenstein and Anna Mayor Mark Pulfer

“One of the hallmarks of America has always been that when our country has been threatened, we’ve united to defeat the enemy. It’s time to do that again,” the mayors wrote in a press release.

“As elected leaders of Shelby County’s municipalities, we are writing to urge you and your family members to take the simple necessary steps to defeat our current common enemy. When the COVID-19 virus first invaded our land, scientists and doctors were justifiably as unprepared as the rest of us. It was a new virus – one that they’d never seen before,” they wrote.

“We need not tell you that the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic has been devastating. The closure of businesses, some of which will never reopen, the strain on critical infrastructure, and the adjustments that have impacted business, industry, education and each of us personally have been dramatic. Whether we like it or not, the virus has changed all of our lives.

“Despite what is being called “pandemic fatigue” (we are grateful that those who came before us did not get fatigued during the Great Depression, World War II, or any of a number of other traumatic events that have threatened America’s way of life), we urge you to do your part to work together to ensure a strong, bright future for our communities, our county, our state, and our great nation.

“We believe that it is time to simply do the three simple things that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Those three things are not difficult. Wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and avoiding large groups are the best tools we have to prevent the continued spread of the coronavirus.

“To defend our communities from this enemy, we need to bring the number of coronavirus cases down so our communities can begin the healing process – physically, emotionally and financially. We must do what we can to prevent the continued devastation and the resulting long-term consequences of COVID-19. The time is now to make the sacrifices necessary so that we build the future.

“Several European countries have already announced another shutdown. We simply cannot afford another shutdown – and if wearing a mask when in public, socially distancing and avoiding large groups will save lives and help avoid another shutdown, then we have an obligation to each other to come together against this common enemy and do what we can to protect each other.

“Wearing masks, maintaining social distance and avoiding large gatherings seems a small sacrifice to ask residents to make. Since you may feel fine – but still be carrying the virus, please, please, please look out for those who may be vulnerable to contracting the virus. The life you save may well be someone you love,” they concluded.