OPINION: County Commissioners across the state have failed the citizens of Kansas.

Charles Chaney
The Butler County Board of Commissioners (left to right, Jeff Masterson, Marc Murphy, Ed Myers and Mike Wheeler) listen to Butler County Health Department Administrator Jamie Downs express her support for Governor Kelly's mask mandate. The 1-hour, 15-minute long meeting ended in a 3-1 vote to not enforce the mandate on Thursday, July 2 at the Butler County Court House in El Dorado, Kansas.

On Thursday, many of the County Commissioners across the state chose to fail their citizens.

It is that simple.

With the Butler County Board of Commissioners voting on Thursday evening to not enforce Governor Laura Kelly’s executive order, requiring citizens to wear a mask, they have ultimately failed those within this county despite the requests from medical professionals who have spent their lives dedicated to situations such the times we are dealing with today.

While Butler County may not be Ford County in terms of cases, it is still bothering our everyday lives. Look at the El Dorado Broncos, the collegiate summer baseball team who plays at McDonald Stadium every summer decided to close up shop due the virus.

We have lost months of our lives because we care more about going to eat at Applebee’s than we do staying healthy.

While I am a little old sports writer, I have experienced lost friends who died from the virus. I know plenty of people who became sick from it and are still suffering from the side effects well after testing “negative.”

Just wear a mask. It is proven scientifically to be the most effective way to kill the spread. It will save the lives of your loved ones and it will also protect those around you who you may not be aware of their situation when you do go out.

Wearing a mask is not political. It is not a suppression of your constitutional rights. Despite the rampant rumors where OSHA and others say masks are not needed, they have come out in the last two weeks refuting such rumors.

You want to save local businesses through this pandemic? Wear your mask. Multiple reports this week have reported that wearing a mask would reduce the spread and would save five percent, or $1 trillion, off the GDP.

You don’t have to wear one at home. You don’t have to wear one in your car. You just have to wear one if you’re going to be around people. Most jobs are requiring masks to be worn at work anyway, so many are getting used to that already. Just wear the mask and save some lives.

Here is the thing to me that is more important: If I'm wrong about wearing a mask, all I did was have a piece of cloth on my face, no big deal.

If you're wrong about not wearing a mask, people die.