Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds broke into programming on Monday evening to announce a mask mandate for public places in Iowa, as well as other regulations to try and get the coronavirus pandemic under control in the state. Some will applaud her in making that 'tough' choice. While I'm happy that the mandate is finally here, this should have happened months ago.

Why did it take so many Iowans getting sick and dying for the governor to change her mind? The science on masks has been consistent since the spring. Wearing one slows down the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who have minor symptoms or are asymptomatic and don't know they have the disease. It was easier to navigate when the weather was warm. We could distance outside, sit on patios at restaurants and eat and drink like nothing was wrong. But then the weather go colder. Experts warned of gatherings indoors acting as super spreader events. But we didn't listen.

Now our numbers are going through the roof. Infection levels up, hospitalizations up, number of deaths up. The thing that bothers me the most about this is that the experts, you know, doctors and scientists, TOLD US that this was going to happen. But we don't want to give things up. I get it. I've been selfish myself in trying to do things that feel 'normal'. Going places that I probably shouldn't. But after seeing and hearing about so many of my friends and their children who have become infected with this virus, I'm done going out. I'm done taking chances. Both sides of my family recently canceled Thanksgiving. Christmas doesn't look good either. But I want my parents and in-laws around in 2021 so we can gather and celebrate again.

I feel for all the workers at businesses that are being shut down early. You didn't ask for any of this either. Perhaps the government that feels the need to shut you down for safety reasons should help provide you the wages you're losing. Another stimulus package aimed at those people would sure make a lot of sense right now.

My favorite comedian, John Mulaney, has a line that came to mind last night after the mask mandate went into effect as pandemic numbers reach all time highs. It's a bit crude, but it sums up my feelings on this matter perfectly. A mask mandate during this stage of the pandemic is "like someone s*%#ing their pants, and to fix the problem, they put on cufflinks."

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