It’s the lesson every football player and fan should know, you don’t ease up when you get close to the end zone.

If you start celebrating early, or think you can relax, someone is always waiting to strip the ball.

We can’t drop the ball.

Stillwater Councilwoman Amy Dzialowski expressed much of the same sentiment before her vote to pass the citywide mask mandate extension. They all had just listened to Stillwater Medical CEO Denise Webber give an emotional plea to extend the mandate. Webber, like most chief medical executives around the country, have faced a day-in and day-out brutal reality about the toll of the virus that is still too often ignored, even in our own community.

“It’s really hard to listen to Denise get up here and say just how exhausted our medical professionals are and just how exhausted our resources are. As a mama that’s relied so much on our medical community, I have so respect for the work that you do and I’m sorry that we’re letting you down in some way,” Dzialowski said.

Like many of us have hoped, there could be an end zone within our reach, but Dzialowski said it only strengthened her resolve.

“One of the bright lights this week, is we have had several announcements in the last week about a vaccine on the horizon. To me, that said, ‘put your head down, Amy, we can get through this. We can get there. We just have to prevent every preventable death we can in the meantime.”

We began this with an ‘all in this together attitude.’ That should still be our attitude. And our next sacrifice, sadly, might be not visiting family for the holidays.

“It’s not worth it,” Vice Mayor Pat Darlington said at the meeting. “Stay safe. Stay in small groups. Stay in your bubble. Stay masked.”

If you are intent on traveling, and visiting people outside of your bubble, act now to get tested and isolate on each side of your visit.

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