This letter to the editor was submitted to LebTown. Read our submission policy here.

From the environs of Lebanon County to the halls of the White House, our government leaders have demonstrated the meaning of the term RECKLESS. In recent weeks both the President and Vice President of the United States, our highest public officials, have acted in defiance of their own government health officials by not wearing masks or social distancing from others, while in public.

Across the country as the weather warms and pandemic restrictions are eased, people are flocking to beaches, parks and venues that had been forbidden for months. Unfortunately many have relaxed their guard and have not taken the necessary precautions to avoid COVID-19. The reckless behavior modeled by national leaders is a tragic mistake and will lead to needless illness and death for thousands of Americans.

Locally the Lebanon County Commissioners Bill Ames and Bob Philips, along with state Representative Frank Ryan and state Senator David Arnold collaborated with other public officials in an effort to “open Lebanon County” before the state pandemic guidelines would permit. I was very disappointed that these public servants would be drawn into such reckless decisions. They demonstrated poor judgment and did not set a good example for the public to follow.

COVID-19 is killing us by the thousands and you give the “finger” to efforts to protect us. Shame on you for such arrogance. I believe you and all that act as you do will pay a very dear price for what you have done, as the true nature of this pandemic unfolds.

Social distancing and wearing a mask when near others in the public square are acts of love and consideration for the other person, as well as an act of self-preservation.

Recently, a colleague of mine visited a local market here in Lebanon County and noted with concern that none of the employees were wearing masks. Upon inquiring about the STATE MANDATE for wearing masks and why the person was not using one, the employee said “God will protect me.”

According to a recent press report a local church was planning a regular church service with no masks or social distancing required. Also a local sit-down restaurant was advertising that it was open in violation of state COVID-19 guidelines. This kind of arrogance and oppositional defiance will get people killed.

You dare COVID-19 and it will find you. This virus is relentless and will track you down if you act in a reckless fashion and it will show no mercy.

Maybe God does NOT protect the reckless.

Richard M. Brown lives in Mt. Gretna. He is a retired science teacher.

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