Editor’s note: Wausau Pilot & Review gladly publishes commentary from readers, residents and candidates for local offices. The views of readers and columnists are independent of this newspaper and do not necessarily reflect the views of Wausau Pilot & Review. To submit, email editor@wausaupilotandreview.com or mail to 500 N. Third St., Suite 208-8, Wausau, Wis. 54403.

Dear editor,

For roughly two years, many of us have yearned for a return to “normalcy.” While we’ve shared a common goal, there has been much disagreement about how to achieve it. Now, as the COVID-19 landscape takes an encouraging turn with a decline in cases and hospitalizations, it’s important to reflect and give thanks.

I, along with Marshfield Clinic Health System, am grateful for individuals and organizations who have trusted the advice of medical experts. They’ve made appropriate changes to the way they live their lives and run their businesses. The decisions were never easy, but they were the right thing to do. 

A special shout-out goes to the Grand Theater in Wausau. In October, it started requiring face masks, along with proof of a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination card. Staff knew this would not be greeted warmly by some community members. However, with public health in mind, they made the thoughtful and responsible decision. In the end, I truly believe this choice, and others like it, reduced the overall toll of COVID-19.

We cannot predict what the future holds. We sincerely hope the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wane. But if and when the next health challenge comes our way, we appreciate partners like the Grand Theater who stand with us to protect the well-being of our communities.

Dr. William Melms

Chief Medical Officer, Marshfield Clinic Health System