The numbers are rising, and the things that make Utah a vibrant culture are suffocating. Our arts, music and dining venues and many unique and delightful small businesses are all gasping for air as the freedom to congregate is being severely impacted by the rise in COVID-19 cases/hospitalizations, and deaths.

The activities that give our city and state a colorful charm are being squeezed out of existence. Yet, there are many neighbors and citizens who refuse to do the one thing that helps us the most at defeating this scourge. They won’t wear a mask.

As the virus is spread mostly by folks breathing on each other, the simple act of wearing a mask when not social distancing is the most effective way for us to get this virus under control.

I get that people don’t want to be told what to do. Yet this simple act of kindness will make the biggest difference. It will protect the most vulnerable. It will help our health care workers get this under control. It will help all the small businesses that are struggling. It will help us to return to normal sooner.

So you all have a choice -- be selfish, or be caring. We should not need a government directive to do the right thing.

Let’s take care of each other and get back to normal as soon as possible.

Michael Feldman, Salt Lake City