Just in the past week, three people who I care about have received a positive Covid-19 diagnosis right here in East Texas. All over my social media accounts, daily, I see posts about those all over are nation who are dealing with this, too.

I've been fortunate, and so have my friends, to have manifested milder symptoms at this juncture. However, I've heard many heartbreaking stories of many REAL human beings who have experienced a quite severe case themselves or in their close circle. In several cases, they've lost a friend or a loved one to Covid--yes, here in East Texas, too. 

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At the same time, I continue to see posts on social media from well-intentioned, concerned citizens claiming "Covid is a hoax." My dear friends--it is not a hoax.

I understand many of us are weary of wearing masks. For some, they struggle breathing--that's a different concern. For most others--it may feel like an infringement on a personal freedom. Americans, and Texans especially, don't like to have our freedoms curbed. I get that. At the same time, some may suggest that obeying traffic signals is also a curb on our freedoms. But we agree to do so for the welfare of our fellow citizens.

No, a mask isn't a 100% guarantee you won't get the virus. Some people have worn their masks diligently and have been diagnosed. A family member who was just diagnosed yesterday shared that the doctor told him the virus affects different people in different ways.

But we don't just wear them for ourselves--we wear them to protect others, too. Because of that, we wear the mask. You may be one of the lucky ones who doesn't get it--or if you do, your case is relatively mild. But if we can prevent one vulnerable person from spending time in the hospital on a ventilator, it's worth it to me.

Some feel the mask has become a political statement. It isn't. This is what we do for the welfare of our fellow citizens. This is like the medicine you take when you're sick. This is like eating your spinach, or asking your kid to hold your hand when crossing a busy street.

Believe me, I know we're weary. We want life to feel "normal" again. Wearing a mask, washing our hands, staying safe---these are some of the ways we get there.

Love.