Last week the Emporia City Commission extended the citywide mask mandate through Nov. 21. While only affecting the City of Emporia, the decision is a sound one and I applaud our commissioners for keeping the mandate in place.

But, after our story went up online, I noticed some comments about how some larger businesses were no longer requiring masks so why bother?

That is a dangerous attitude to take at a time when COVID-19 cases throughout the state continue to rise at an exponential rate as we head into flu season. Yes, we are still seeing increases in COVID-19 in the community, but as more people have started wearing masks in public spaces the evidence is pretty clear.

The masks are working in the places where people are using them.

So, it’s no surprise that Gov. Laura Kelly is once again bringing up the need for a statewide mask mandate, hoping to get enough bipartisan support to make it enforceable.

According to the White House COVID situation report, Kansas remains firmly in the red zone. If it’s not clear what that means, it’s not good. It means we are seeing uncontrolled spread — especially in rural counties that opted out of Kelly’s initial mandate. That’s more than 90 of the state’s 105 counties. That’s why Kelly said last week that she plans to speak with House and Senate leadership to work toward a bipartisan mask requirement with more teeth.

Sen. Susan Wagle has already voiced opposition, but Sen. Majority Leader. Jim Denning has said he would be happy to open a dialogue with the governor about it. Denning said a mandate would be preferable to having to shutdown businesses again.

And I think, regardless of where your politics lie or your personal thoughts on masks, that is something on which we can all agree.

So, if you want our businesses to stay open and you want our schools to remain open, please, wear your masks.

If my 6-year-old can get through a whole day of school in one, so can you.

Ryann Brooks

News and Online Editor

(37) comments

Comment deleted.

Unkind, Gary. I understand it is frustrating that others have different opinions than you, but that's not worth wishing illness and death on anyone.


If you really believed that your life was at risk you would not risk it by going to Mcdonalds, an if you did , you really believed that the Virus was going to kill you an you risk it for a coke an some nuggets plus you believe that the worker is at risk , then what kind of person are you? More likely that you hate Trump an want the rest of us to pay with our freedom til you get your little way

Gary Lukert

Yes, like HITLER, STALIN AND OTHERS...I hate Trump. He is EVIL...although he may not be a Racist...he uses RACISM for his benefit. Trump has never given any sympathy to the George Floyd family. About the next day or two, he went into a Rant against him. Hey, the COP killed George Floyd...PRESSING his Knee on Floyd's neck. Law enforcement is only to use force as needed. Floyd was handcuffed, on the to a vehicle, with 3 other police around. Floyd was heard saying he couldn't breath...but, Trump didn't care---playing to his RACIST supporters. Trump is a RAPIST, a Thug, Crook, Criminal, Liar. Actually, Trump is a Mobster. Sad so many people who call themselves Christians LOVE him! All that says, those "Christians" ain't Christians. Would Jesus do and say like TRUMP?

Gary Lukert

I have been in McDonald's on Industrial several times in Recent weeks, and everyone is wearing masks. All the stores I have been in...people have masks on. There have been just a couple of times I saw anyone at McDonald's without a mask on. There two Reasons to Wear protect you and Others. Oh, I believe people should take AK-47's with to Shoot the Virus. The only reason one would need carry a to Protect themselves from Violent White Nationalists!


Actually the AK is for the chicken nuggets. If one starts moving in the box, it's going down!

Aren't McD's chicken nuggets "all white meat"?

Where's the dark meat nuggets?

Lunkhead: "McDonald's is racist!"

Gary Lukert

You exaggerate everything. I do wear my mask to McDonald's. And, into other restaurants, too. You see, I am NOT a sorehead for Political Reasons. And, I guess you have chosen to be Mad all the time, following a Crooked, Lying, Bully RAPIST. Why do you like a Liar?


Gary as I heard a old man say 1 times, I never questioned the patriotism of Navy men, especially a 2 year sailor , but did question why a man would enlist to be in such tight quarters with 3 men stacked on bunks with no women around for weeks on end, Maybe that is why the lockdown does not bother you,

Gary Lukert

Well, you know nothing. For one thing, I was only on a Ship for 4 days, from Bayonne, New Jersey to the Naval Base at Argentia, Newfoundland. We had plenty of room. There may have been 30-40 on the ship. And, we had large barracks...plenty of room. I DID SERVE MY COUNTRY....TRUMP DIDN'T. There was a Draft when both Trump and I were draft eligible in October of 1957 when I joined the Naval Seabee Reserves. I spent 18 of my 24 Months as an Announcer in Armed Forces Radio. My Dad, the Honorable Ervin Lukert, of Seward, Nebraska, with 3 kids, was DRAFTED at 33, in World War II. My oldest brother, Lester, joined the National Guard, in 17 years old...served 20 years, Master Sargent. My youngest brother, Dennis, also served in the Seabee Reserves, like me, with 2 years Active Duty. He was in Viet Nam (were you?) And, my other brother, Roger, served 6 years in the Seabee Reserves. We all Served. NONE of TRUMP'S FAMILY has ever served a minute. Donald's dad bought Chicken Donnie an illegal Lifetime Medical Deferment. Donnie should be in Jail. AND, YOU...Like Trump, Make fun of Veterans. I was there for my Country, Trump wasn't. Yes, Donnie boy has tried to equate being President with being in Combat in War. And,YES, you Republicans accept that. Neither You nor Trump nor any of his supporters have any decency or shame. You Glorify a Liar, a breaker of at least 2 of God's commandments---Adultery and Lying. Says more about you even more than Trump. Oh, by the way, on Christmas. John McCain was a Prisoner of War, his plane was shot down, he was severely injured, denied treatment, tortured, Being a Prisoner of War is not like Trump's Frat Club. He was locked in a very small confinement, tortured. He never sold out fellow prisoners or America. You are repeating lies....everyone you would have opposed, if McCain had won the presidency. You are Evil beyond Evil.


You're displacing your beef with the President onto Watchman, Gary. There are many ways to serve, and patriotism takes many forms. It behooves us to honor all of them.



Gary Lukert

I am not at all Patriotic these days....Patriotism has been Stolen by a Nazi. Hitler and Germans were patriotic. Following a Despot...Like you and millions of Americans are today. A crook, a liar, a bully, an illegal Draft Dodger. What is so patriotic about Trump. Everything he does is solely to benefit Trump. He suckers people in with the Flag, Pledge of Allegiance, God---He sneers at all of them.


Gosh Gary I Enlisted in 1997 so now can I talk too? I had the Virus, was tired an had a head ache like talking to Gary for a week strait, , Was bad at 1st but look now the cases are rising BUT the deaths are down %99.5 survival rate, But lets put fear in the Children's minds an hide an give up, Cause Gary Hates Trump , so we gotta shut down our lives while he pouts an kicks , Till Gary an his kind get exactly what they want , we gotta all be miserable,


This is your opinion and you have a right to it however do no report as news. News is facts not opinions.


This isn't represented as a news piece. It is clearly an editorial. Newspapers in general, and the Gazette in particular, have a long history of publishing editorials. This practice is an accepted and legitimate function of the news media.

Gary Lukert

You got it right, it is IN EDITORIALS AND OPINIONS! Seems like ONLY REPUBLICANS can have Opinions...AND, with Every one of them, the report them AS FACT.


It's literally in the opinion section, lol.

Gary Lukert

How would you know? Trump LIES all the time, makes up stuff. I have even heard him say...that something he ripped Obama or someone, that, well, "...I heard someone say it!" You can't, LIKE MOST REPUBLICANS, can't stand hearing, reading...TRUTH! Therefor, YOU LIE about it! Hey, when is Trump going to give his PROOF that Obama was NOT an American-Born Citizen? When? I'm waitin'!

Gary Lukert

You live in Rev. Jim Jones type world...where Jones was GOD...and, like Republicans are doing now, you are (figuratively) Trump's POISONOUS "Kool-Aid". Trump couldn't even get Health Care passed. In the 2016 Campaign,Trump said Health Care was Easy...also, he was a Real Negotiator. Well, the Lying Bum never got it done. (Thank You John McCain!) Trump said health care was easy...then, after FAILING...said, "Who knew Health Care was so Hard!" Choke on that, Sucker! Choke on it!!!!


I'm trying to figure if you're more of a Max Goldman or a John Gustafson.

Gary Lukert

You don't have to figure out anything. I am who I am, who in H are you, Chicken?


I'm the voice in your head.


So on Nov 21st when they tell you how you can't have Thanksgiving gatherings and extend the mask mandate again, a lot of folks are going to have had enough. Those elected officials in power and supporting these restrictions on our freedoms will be held accountable when they run for reelection. Maybe a new city council could clear the power hungry idiots out the Department of Health.


I agree. As soon as Biden is elected and we get to have competent people running things, this virus will finally be contained and everything will get back to normal... Trump has just drug this out longer than it needed to be with this anti-mask anti-science ideology that his followers slop up that lets this virus keep spreading unchecked... a competent leader would have done so much better... just look at pretty much any other first world country...



Gary Lukert

You CAN have Thanksgiving Gatherings, just not in Restaurants or Public Buildings. Look, you are ALREADY ON THE OTHER (CRIMINAL) SIDE OF THINGS. You mean nothing, are nothing, never will be anything. Just scum!



Clean up your language. There are ladies present.

Gary Lukert

KB,where is your ignorant comment on this?


Thank you Ryan Brooks for telling me what I need to do an What I can make it through and how I should Live, Please tell me more I can't make it on my own

Gary Lukert

Most, by far, those inflamed by Mask Wearing Orders are Republicans. It is POLITICAL. QUESTION: Since Trump and his followers are against masks, and Trump likes to issue executive orders, why doesn't Trump issue a NATIONAL ORDER THERE CAN BE NO ORDERS TO WEAR MASKS? However, it would still be up to business and people in/on their own property to direct if masks were worn there. SOMETHING ELSE: My Dad was Drafted into the Army in 1943. He went, didn't bitch about it. Was more than just having to wear a mask. The United States took his whole body. Left my Mom with 3 kids. I was 3, had brothers 12 & 6. Also, I served in the Navy, 1958-60. Enlisted....because there was a Draft. The draft has been gone for around 50 years. Thus, no one under about 40 has any idea. My youngest brother served also, 1962-64, in the Navy, with a brief stop in Viet Nam. (Viet Nam was the place Chicken-Shit Trump didn't want to go. Thus, Donnie's Daddy bought off a Doctor to give Chicken-Shit Donnie a lifetime Medical Deferment!

David Dexter

SMH. Wow.

Gary Lukert

What is S M H?


SMH = "Shaking my head."


It's amazing how tough and patriotic these conservatives act until they have to do something tough or patriotic.

Gary Lukert

Yeah, talk is cheap! Trump does not like American Service Men who GET CAPTURED! He said it: "Well, I like those that weren't captured!" Said it about John McCain...who spent 5 years in a North Viet Nam POW Camp. Was tortured, denied medical care. He also hammered McCain during a Naval Academy Graduation Speech. Trump is the most awful person the world has ever known. Makes fun of people BORN WITH HANDICAPS! Total Asshole!


The John McCain I remember sold out his brothers in arms to the Viet Cong for oranges, meals, and showers. He sang like a canary and how many American servicemen died as a result?

John McCain was also pictured next to Al-Qaeda terrorists in the middle east. He consorted with the enemy again. He supposedly was running weapons to Al-Qaeda while we were at war with them.

McCain is no hero.

Comment deleted.

The Vietnam War was started by the power brokers- the same clique Joe Biden belongs to.

They played their pawns for control and worldwide dominance. And yes, American servicemen in Vietnam were treated as pawns by these evil brokers. This same club exists today and are pressing for globalism.


Because they already have the globe carved up among them. They want a one world government. They want you marching in lockstep toward globalization where you are a serf to regional kings. They have almost succeeded. Look how easily populations fell in lockstep with mandates- with the opinions of a few "experts" but without hard data.

Think about how often they flip flopped on recommendations- how they just couldn't pinpoint who was affected and who was safe. But they had studied Coronavirus for years.

Why weren't they forthcoming about Coronavirus being studied in labs during this?

Why do they not want people to know this Coronavirus is linked to SARS?

Why don't they want you to see that China released this virus?

Why don't they want you to see that China's release of Coronavirus was an act of war?

Why have researchers from the Wuhan lab gone missing?

Look at the timeline. We had a 25% tariff on imports from China and then we "mysteriously" have Coronavirus on the radar?

The Chinese economy was tanking because of the tariffs and the America First agenda. They could not devalue their currency much further. And then Coronavirus appears.

Convenient, right?

Why wasn't China forthcoming about Coronavirus being spread in Wuhan? They released it knowing the virus would make its way here.

Look at the big picture.

We are at war with China. You just can't see it.

They are trying to force us to go back to way it had been- where they could steal our intellectual property and flood our market with knockoff products. Politicians like Joe Biden and the Clintons have a long history of shady interactions with China.

Trump has tried to remove this country from the control of the globalists. He didn't get us into TPP, got us out of the WHO, reduced our contributions to the UN, shredded NAFTA and replaced it with a trade agreement that is better for us, provides incentives for manufacturing companies to return the US to operate, and placed tariffs on hostile countries' imports.

No, Trump did not serve in the military but he HAS served this country.

You want to compare your service to the country to Trump not having enlisted. He might not have served in the military but he has served this country with his America First agenda.

If you don't want your service discounted then you cannot discount his service to this country.


I like you, you're my kind of people.

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