The responsible citizens of King County who have acknowledged the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic, worn masks for months and have gotten vaccinated are being held hostage by the irresponsible citizens who have said that COVID-19 was not a problem, refused to wear masks and refuse to get vaccinated.

It’s time for Dr. Jeff Duchin and the King County health department to accept this and move forward with easing rules. Duchin says to be patient and see if we can get to the magical percentage of vaccinated people to safely begin not wearing masks. We’re never gonna get there. I agree that there is a small segment of the population who can’t get vaccinated, but the majority of people who can and want to get vaccinated have, the rest just don’t want to. These people both locally and nationally have contributed to the conditions that caused us to have to wear masks longer than probably necessary and are still doing it.

The time has come to remove the mask-wearing recommendations, allow people who want to make that personal decision to wear masks to do so, and force the irresponsible citizens to live with the consequences of their actions.

Robert Oberlander, Issaquah