Gov. Andy Beshear’s new COVID-19 restrictions announced this week have been met with mixed reviews.

The restrictions include closing restaurants to indoor dining through Dec. 13; limiting venues to 25 attendees; lowering gym capacities to 33%; and prohibiting team practices and competitions.

Of course, officials discouraged getting together with family and friends for Thanksgiving.

Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Public Health, said Thanksgiving get-togethers will surely infect more people.

These restrictions were brought on by a record-high number of cases in the last week.

The reason we’re experiencing a third wave to COVID-19 is in large part because we haven’t followed guidelines as we should.

Many haven’t taken the virus seriously, believing it’s no worse than the flu.

But it’s much worse than the flu. Experts (nurses) have testified this week about how serious and deadly coronavirus is. They have said they’ve never seen such death and suffering.

Many believe if they get the virus, they will survive.

While, statistically, that might be true, the fact is coronavirus is unpredictable. It has killed people of all ages and races. It has killed healthy people as well as those with pre-existing conditions.

Besides, if you survive the virus, you have a good chance of having lingering health problems for the rest of your life.

Who wants to risk that?

Many have refused to wear a mask because they believe it infringes on their rights. That fact is, you have a right to live as you’d like in the United States — until your actions infringe on the rights of others. If you won’t wear a mask in public, you are infringing of the rights of others to remain COVID-19 free.

Wearing a mask is simply a temporary safety measure to keep yourself and, ultimately, the rest of the country, free of a mysterious and potentially deadly virus. Eventually, the pandemic will fade and life will get back to normal. Wear a mask now and you won’t have to wear one later.

As for Thanksgiving, many believe this will be Grandma’s last holiday and, therefore, she must attend the annual feast. Of course, if Grandma comes to dinner and contracts the virus, it likely will be her last holiday.

When it comes to our health and the health of our loved ones, it’s best to err on the side of caution.

Nobody enjoys wearing a mask, staying away from others or washing and sanitizing their hands until they are chapped. But these are small, temporary sacrifices to make to keep ourselves and others healthy and get us through the pandemic. They must be done.

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