To The Editor:

As a community of people committed to freedom and allowing the individual to decide on his or her health choices, we are wholeheartedly against a mask mandate in the city of Washington.

There is significant disagreement in the scientific community on the effectiveness of this protocol. For every study that is brought forward showing this protocol might work, there are also studies showing that this protocol is ineffective.

Why would we as a community allow ourselves to be subject to a measure that is so disputed, clearly inhibits our ability to breathe fresh air without understanding the long-term effects of such protocol?

Why would we expose our children to such a mandate for a virus that is affecting only 3 percent of the tested people in Franklin County — .1 percent in Washington?

Why would we allow ourselves to be forced to cover our mouths in public, when the vast majority of the people are healing from COVID-19? We were told that the initial lockdown was to flatten the curve, not to get rid of the virus. We can use common sense and distance/stay home when necessary plus wash and sanitize our hands to keep our community safe just as we have approached other illnesses that have run through our communities in the past.

Moreover, masking up does not promote a true community of persons; these mandates are actually creating fear and distrust in our culture. A mask — an item normally used when one wishes to conceal his or her identity for nefarious purposes is now being promoted for the opposite reason. What an eerie shift in our cognitive understanding of language!

Think about it — instead of seeing my fellow man as a person who I welcome, as one created in the image and likeness of God, now I can’t trust him or her. I must fear the person because he or she might give me a virus. (Again, a virus from which the vast majority heal.) We walk through the stores with our mouths covered, voices muffled, eyes looking down. The melancholic, anxious psychic energy is palpable as we go through our daily lives today.

Finally, our last concern for the mask mandate is the social conditioning it promotes. There is this not so subtle idea that in order to be a “good citizen,” one must mask up even if the person is opposed to it. It promotes “do-gooder” citizen, the ones in the community who are virtue signaling, calling the county offices to report businesses and citizens who are simply striving to use common sense in approaching this virus.

City of Washington, take these words into consideration and do not allow us to be a mask mandate city. It is important to let our citizens and the businesses of this community make these decisions for themselves. This is the hallmark of our freedom and the foundation of the American ideal.

Signed by 356 concerned citizens of the community,

Jeremy Meyer

Candace Meyer

Lori Beste

Laurie Horne

Stephanie Wheat

Rene LaFerla

Claudia Beyer

Kathy King Gerber

Jessica Wolff

Ryan Wolff

Samantha Vanatta

Dennis Beanblossom

Tara Renee Griffin

Scott Clark

Dalton Clark

Adrian Thompson

Eric Lane

Steve Biermann

Karen Biermann

Jean Cunningham

Jared Cunningham

Delena Brune

Matt Sharpe

Barb Linders

Ashley Doehring

Elizabeth Kosewicz

Debra Burton

Amber Camper

Warren Pierson

Charles Peth

Cathy Perth

Dusti Elbert

Ryan Eaton

Danielle Eaton

Allyson Eaton

Ayla Eaton

Justn Noble

Jessica Noble

Benjamin Brown

Megan Frankenberg Meyer

AJ Thomason

Angie Coleman

Maureen O’Donnell Braun

Mike Braun

Melissa Heady Newman

Judy Moss

John Serrano

Nicole Harvey

Melinda Bell

Lorena Dysart

Annie Stanfield

Willy Irwin

Kim Duff

Brian Kramer

Darlene Haney

Crystal VanHorn

Sara Biermann

Olivia Mehringer

Ellie Mehringer

Lindset DeCoster

Ashley Nichole

Bryan Rison

Phil Gerber

Pastor Rick Owsley

Sarah Straatmann Morrison

John Teal

Brenda Lister Gray

Sarah Dobsch

Michael Bandowski

Edward W William

Katie Isom

Lee Zimmermann

James Dunlap

Jessica Dunlap

Elana McCleave Young

Terri Bell

Stephen Bell

Tim Girardier

Emily Kossmann

Guy Smith

Peggy Adkison

Christine Skornia

Chad Skornia

Nancy Sanders

Roy Mohesky

Kathty Maisel

Tara Griffin

Chris McQueen

Nicole Moore

Jay Schroeder

Stretch Carter

Fran Carter

Christine Barclay

Nancy Paddock

Carolyn Dattilo

Dennis Harman

Trish Ann

Sue Williams

Gary Park

Stephanie Hayes

Annette Pfeiffer

Justin Tyson

Sue Ribison

Chad Briggs

Dawn Ferguson

Lauren Gerber

Destiny Witherspoon

Bobby Tsiaklides

Meleah Domijan

Beverly Nation

Pam Eichholz

Bob Eichholz

Laura Grannemann

Tom Grannemann

Rachel Wade Thorson

Greg Thorson

Trisha Mitchell

Katie Lowe

Colleen Mueller

Thomas Turner

Leonna Turner

Johon Stevenson

Gina Carson StVrain

Tabitha Whited

Tina Vitale

Brian Nieves

Larry Woodruff

EllenKay Demoor

Christy Pieske Brinker

Heather Groff Diehl

Bryan Bradford

JoAnne Bradford

Cara Mason

David Mason

Carla Staggs

Christina Lehr

David Lehr

Tara VanThull

Joey Dobsch

Anthony Keence

Sheena Halmich

Terry Smith

Chris Humphrey

Matthew Davenport

Jim Sachs

Daisy Evans

Ronnie Evans

Dan Gist

Julie Schroeder

Eli Gospich

Paul Williams

Maudie Nelson

Carrie Fischer Suprenant

Larry Suprenant

Adam Coffey

Barbara Fendick Miller

Charlie Due

Angie McGowan

Shelley Chambers

Debbie Haley

Bill Fererro

Cindy Griffin Mills

Andrea Menz

Melanie Willis Blumefelder

Jim Blumefelder

Emily Blumefelder

Kevin Bluemefelder

Meghan Guenther

Debbie Ashworth

Mark Knickmeyer

Kevin Blackburn

Bruce Sohn

Deana Henderson

Annie Hurst

Rachael Monasmith

Scott Monasmith

Pam Bedwell Spies

Ali Whittington

Duncan Whittinigton

Crustal Harris King

Drew Bailey

Elaine Wheeler Blackmur

Thomas Hamer

Caroline Hamer

Brenda Dunne Kleinheider

Cojocaru Ben

Russell Kempen

Billie Hensiek

Keven Hensiek

Michelle Staples

Bartley Staples

Molly Kennedy Stranczek

Chris Keil

Robin Elbert Birke

Stacy Kober Bleckman

Kathleen Nanney

Anthony Barber

Rebecca Barber

Eley Barber

Kimberly Miller Seifert

Johny Monasmith

William Moran

Laurie Horne

Christina Fogg

Kristi Kelley

Craig Kelley

Taunya Soles

Kimberly Lowe

Don Schroeder

Chris Schroeder

Jamie Stevener

Cheryl Baumann

Brianna Gildehaus

Robert Ohlrich

Amanda AuBuchon

Josh AuBuchon

Amy Zerillo

Cherie Wuertz

Patty Biehle

Amy Muench

Kay Politte

Gale Nie

Cynthia Stevenson

Caise Geissler

Will Lomax

Joan Koper

Savannah Stevenson

Judy Payne

Barbara Reis

Joan Hoffmann

Dennis Hartmann

Wendy Hartmann

Beth Bailey

Lola Greely Davis

Jared Klenke

Tracy Young Lannert

Katie Collins Matlock

Madelynne Bandowski

Audrey Bandowski

Emma Bandowski

Amy Bandowski

Jessica Page

Benjamin Page

Margie Berger

Margaret Hence

Robin Prater

Sarah Page

Brittany Anglemyer

Savannah Klenke

Sherry Palmer

Terry Palmer

Mara Sullivan

Nichole Ditch

Daniel Mense

Nick Hunyar

Amanda Tod

Matthew Tod

Dennis Bosworth

Rosemary K McGee-Bosworth

Kristin Carpenter

Ashley Reigel

Becca Dotson

Rick Dotson

Donna Swoboda

Anthony Swoboda

Matthew Ruegg

Rosemary Elbert

Kayla Hoke

George Syrigos

Jill Syrigos

Gail Sleeman

Stan Sleeman

Michelle Shaul

Barbara Hoeft

Jordan Lottmann

Jeremy Fowler

Jenna Lindsey Greer

Moriah Griesenauer

Cody Griesenauer

Lynn Osmack

Mike Anderson

Brittany Ash

Sue Hellebusch

Jon Thomason

Tom Hanneken

Rose Hanneken

Ashley Thomason

Devin Kiel

Demi Kiel

Dylan Kiel

Jonathan Schultz

Christopher Schultz

Tayla Schultz

Ken Colemam

Joyce Willis

Kyle Kitcher

Chrissy Maune

William Miller

Nicky Snow

Cory Seifert

Jill Brueggemann

Michelle Calkins

Dylan Horne

Justin Horne

Teresa Hedrick

Joe Mohesky

Marcelyn Feldmann Mohesky

Haylee Page

Donna Perkins

Johny Monasmith

Kent Spies

Steve Spies

Mikayla Martin

Richard Payne

Eric Hurst

Brian Stevener

Ted Swoboda

Wendi Swoboda

Lorin Wolff

Gary Wolff

Rebecca Ralston

Bill Domijan

Stephanie Dieckman

John Dieckman

Taylor Chivetta

Alex Chivetta

Lisa Mentz

Scott Mentz

Mariah Staggs

Tabmerly Metzger Knight

Langdon Knight

Dorian Knight

Darrien Knight

Kathie Zuroweste

Jim Faupel

Edwin Van Weelden

Jane Osman

Annessa Kloppe

Mamie McKinney

Susan Warner

Tristan Williams

Valerie Jewell

Grace Thornton

Brittany Bellamy

Zachary Ballamy

Carla Filla

Becky Praiswater

Angie Mc Gowan

Dave Bailey

Rebecca Feltmann

Craseem Walker

Colleen Malawy

Kristoffer Carpenter

Julia Kluba

Neal Kluba