In my regular visits to places of business in Pocatello, I have become more and more outraged by the number of folks I encounter not wearing masks. Signs plastered on doors of most places of business clearly state "Masks are required to enter this business" - but for some, these directives are ignored.

In December, I lost a uncle to the COVID-19 virus, and the statistics we've all been reading over the past many months became a up close and personal to my family. Whether of not any individual "believes" that there is danger from the pandemic, thousands of Americans are experiencing significant loss due to COVID-19. Citizenship includes the responsibility of engaging in behaviors and practices that build fellowship, and thinking first about the welfare of others rather than the exclusive interests of ourselves. Membership in the human race is richer when "awareness" extends beyond the tip of our individual nose, or further than our own selfish interests.

As the daily death tolls of Americans have risen from 1,000 to 2,000 to 3,000, and higher each DAY, I am shocked at the apparent lack of concern displayed by some of our own Pocatello residents in public places. Regardless of our individual political positions, there are urgent medical (scientific) reasons to practice more uniform COVID-19 protocols in our daily lives. The wearing of a face mask when out in public is not much of a "hardship" or "infringement" upon any one of us.

I urge my fellow Pocatello residents to make a consistent effort to keep us all safer by wearing a mask whenever out in pubic places.

Scott Anderson,