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Tom Jones

Tom Jones: Wear a Mask; It Helps Protect You, Me, Our Friends, Family, And Our Neighbors

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By Tom Jones, guest columnist
Tom Jones is a former Park County legislator who served as the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee

I understand some people are upset about mask mandates.  They don’t like government telling them what to do. But we live everyday with government mandates.   Among them we:

Pay city, county, special district, state and federal taxes.

Go on green lights and stop on red lights. 

Educate ourselves, take tests, pay a fee and get a license to practice many professions. 

Don’t kill people.

Don’t rob people. 

Pay a fee and get a license to get married.

Don’t exceed the speed limit, by much.

Don’t go on our neighbors’ property without their permission. 

Register our firearms. 

Pay a fee and get a license to hunt game.

Use only the amount of water the ditch rider allows.

Don’t unnecessarily shout “fire” in  crowded theater.

Sit in our designated seat at UW football games.

Drive on the right side of the road. 

Park at our designated camp site in the park.

Build our homes and other buildings according to code.

Don’t build a slaughterhouse in a residential area. 

Make sure airplanes are safe to fly.

Make sure our employees are safe on the job.

Obviously there are dozens if not hundreds of other mandates,  many of which are so innocuous we don’t even think about them.

Remember, each of these mandates is based on laws and ordinances that were adopted in a democratic way by a legislative body composed of democratically elected officials that you had an opportunity to vote for.

Virtually all were originally requested by the people in response to a perceived need. 

In spite of these mandates, I believe we live in the freest country in the world and arguably the freest state in our country. 

So when someone asks you to wear a mask, or even tells you to wear one, put it in context. Why refuse to obey this mandate? It costs little to nothing. It helps protect you, me, our friends, family and our neighbors. 

As we have seen,  an economic shut is far more damaging to our country.  If we can avoid that by wearing a mask, let’s do it.

Happy Thanksgiving. 😷

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Tom Jones: You Have My Permission To Kill Yourself. You Do Not Have Permission To Kill Me

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Guest Column by Tom Jones

To all of you who are ready to open the gates again:

You have my permission to kill yourself. You do not have permission to kill me or my family.

You say Wyoming is doing better so it’s time to go back to normal. We are doing better because we are doing it right. The curve will turn into a U if we open too soon.

I fully understand the desire to get back to work, either as an employee or a business owner. You say the cost to the economy is too great to remain closed. What level of dead will change your mind? A quarter million, half a million, ten million. 

If we can avoid deaths we need to try. In the whole scheme of things I believe this will be relatively short lived. Dead is dead but economies do rebound.

It scares me that Wyoming’s congressional delegation continues to drink the Kool-Aid of the President. For once, please look at what is best for our citizens. Sen. Barrasso needs to remember his medical background: “First do no harm.” Pay attention to science and scientists. They know better than anyone.

I am amazed at the way so many, especially Congress, the president and the media, continue to politicize this event. Let’s work for a cure. Let’s work to protect ourselves and our families. We are all in this together. Let’s work together.

Some of you may recall the adage from the AIDs infection. “When you have sex, you are having sex with every person your partner ever had sex with.”. There is a corollary to that today.

“When you socialize with someone, you are socializing with every person they have socialized with.” You will probably never know where you got the infection.

Thank you to everyone out there who is working to help keep the rest of us safe. Health care providers, grocery workers, truck drivers and so many I can’t name them all. We have a new appreciation for so many people we ignored before. Don’t make their efforts and sacrifices be in vain.

Stay home. Stay healthy.

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