I need to get some stuff off my chest and get real honest for a minute.

I am over this COVID-19 pandemic, but I know it is a LONG way from over.

I hate wearing a face mask in public, but I know it's something that needs to be done for the greater good no matter how frustrating it is.

Most of all, I am BEYOND over people's bad attitudes and defiance to follow guidelines set forth by SCIENTISTS and MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.

None of us like wearing masks, and a lot of very vocal people feel being forced to wear one is a violation of their rights. I'm not saying they are wrong, and we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to take someone else's life into our own hands.

I truly believe anyone trying to make a political or rebellious statement by not wearing a mask in public is simply being selfish and risking someone else's life. Cloth masks may not be 100 percent effective, but some protection is better than nothing. It's still a barrier to germs spreading.  You can state your facts to the contrary at me all day, I will not argue with you, and you will not change my mind.

There is so much we don't know about COVID-19 right now. We don't know what the future looks like, but the evidence supports that quarantines and social distancing works. If we continue to defy guidelines, I have no doubt Rockford will be on full lock down again.

I don't want to see any more residents lose their jobs.

I don't want any more businesses to close their doors, permanently or temporarily.

I don't want one more life to be lost to COVID-19.

In the words of my dear friend Steve Shannon;

Wearing that mask is an act of respect. Do you really think it has something to do with your rights being taken away? Do you really not care if exhausted healthcare workers get time to rest? Do you know how many haven't been able to be around their significant others or their children because of this virus? And, if we don't keep flattening the curve, it could be even longer before many get time with their families.

I'm not writing this to tell you that you're wrong, I am writing it to ask you to consider all that you could be risking in your defiance. This is not a time for soapboxes or b%&@*ing about politics, it's a time to suck it up and do what's best for humanity.

I saw this video from The Holderness Family yesterday, and I thought it was the perfect example of how I feel right now. For the record, I'm the one that won't throw away the mask. Which one are you?

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 6:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook