Letter: Forget politics, it’s time for common sense

This week, Richland County Council passed a mask mandate for schools and daycares.  The City of Columbia did the same a couple weeks ago.  Our school district is also looking into the legality of the state proviso prohibiting the use of funds for requiring mask usage for facility and students.

Why are these bodies doing this?  The answer is simple: the delta variant is real, it is deadly and it is spreading amongst society faster than we can respond. 

Need proof?  I currently serve on the Richland County CASA board and less than two weeks ago, a staff member passed from COVID complications.  He was 45 and recently married.  Now his wife of three months has to pick up the pieces of her shattered life.  Need more proof?  A 16-year-old student at Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster County has passed from COVID complications.  16 years old people…

Yet we continue to engage in polarizing and paralyzing politics regarding masks and COVID misinformation.  If one party supports, the other staunchly opposes.  If the issue is white, the other sees it as black.  This has to stop; we have to get back to a common sense approach.

Common sense dictates that we NEED masks in schools; we need masks to protect our children who cannot be vaccinated.  We need masks to protect our teachers, who are one of the pillars of our society.  We need masks to protect those who come into contact with student and teachers on a daily basis.

For example, there are approximately 900 students and facility at Bethel Hanberry Elementary.  Each one comes and goes on a daily basis, coming into contact with an unknown number of people.  Statistically speaking, someone is coming into contact with a COVID positive or a close contact individual.  More than likely, there are carriers AT OUR SCHOOL.  Yet we fight over masks, which absolutely help lessen the spread of airborne particles and droplets…which is how COVID spreads. 

There will be some people who disagree with my position.  There will be many who feel government is overstepping their bounds.  That’s ok.  I believe that it’s the governments job to do for those what they cannot, or will not, do for themselves, especially when it’s in the best interest of public health.

And that is what this whole issue is: doing what is best in the interest of public health.  A mask does not define you.  It does not lessen you as an individual and your personal freedoms and liberties are not infringed upon if you wear a mask.  Wearing a mask is akin to sneezing into your sleeve versus into someone’s face.  It’s just plain courteous and the right thing to do. 

I support Richland County and their mask mandate policy.  Teachers and parents alike support it because it protects our children and saves lives.  Blythewood needs to support this and I pray that as a community, we will come together and do what is best for our children.  Support masks in school…it’s the common sense thing to do.

Donald Brock

Blythewood Town Councilman


  1. Lou Ann Coleman says

    It is NOT the government’s job to mandate masks or vaccines. This is just a precursor to more socialist practices.

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