I keep hearing people rail against masks and such as abridging their constitutional rights. What right is that? The right to harm others by carelessly and unnecessarily passing on a deadly virus?

No one I’ve talked to can tell where in the Constitution those rights are. I do find, right in the Preamble, the charge “to provide for the common defense.” This, of course, is defending against invading armies and civil insurrections, but we also defend against other common threats. That’s why we have flood control structures and tornado warning sirens. That’s why we inspect meat and restaurants, and test the water supply.

We also must mount a common defense against pandemics. That means giving authority to those whose expertise and experience can tell us what best to do to protect each other.

We are in conflict against an implacable enemy. In conflict we must act as a team, doing our jobs and protecting our team mates, in this case our communities.

That is why we wear the mask. If you don’t, you are not doing your job, and you do not have the back of your teammates.

William S. Cordua

River Falls