To mask or not to mask, that is the question.

Well, since there’s currently a mask mandate in effect in Wahpeton I’d say the answer is … to mask.

I’m not going to lecture either way when it comes to people’s embrace of, or aversion to, masks. I’m simply going to say that at this time there is a mandate in place and for the sake of harmony in our city, please consider a mask when you patronize local businesses and public buildings.

And it’s not a city thing, it’s a state thing. North Dakota now has a mandate as well.

I’ll admit that I’ve jumped out of my vehicle a few times and forgotten my mask, but I do my best to keep it with me and wear it wherever and whenever it’s required. I’m trying to make a habit of it. This pandemic has been depressing to say the least, but I’m trying to put things in perspective right now and focus on the holidays and the joy that comes with them.

For example, this year at our small family Thanksgiving dinner we’ll be using paper plates and plasticware in order to reduce the clean-up time and enjoy the day a little more. Of course, that doesn’t help my darling wife from having to get up early and get the turkey going (love you, honey!). But we’re going to try and take time to look at the bright lights, listen to some good music, maybe watch a Christmas movie or two. “Home Alone” double feature anyone?

I truly hope the current situation we find ourselves in doesn’t dampen your holidays too much. Close your eyes, take a breath and enjoy what you have.

Switching gears, I’d like to highlight something that’s been talked about at length at committee and council meetings recently, and that’s housing.

If you haven’t heard, last summer was a good year for housing in Wahpeton. In addition to private entities putting up new homes, the city commissioned six houses to be built in the Westdale II addition north of the Walmart location. All six were built and sold over the summer/fall seasons and the city is looking for more of the same next year. We knew the housing want in town was great and last summer was proof of not only what’s needed but what we can do together to take care of that need.

You’ve probably heard the former Central School site talk, as well. A development agreement will soon be in place that will see homes built on that block, too. If you’re one of the many people waiting so see what would happen with that land, you’ll soon find out. Personally, I can’t wait to see how that neighborhood looks when an entire block is eventually redeveloped. That, along with other new (and soon-to-be-new) buildings in that area will give it a look it hasn’t seen in quite a long time.

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