I would like to express a few thoughts concerning my public statement concerning not being able to wear a face mask for personal medical reasons in the village board meetings.  

I appreciate anyone who expresses a sincere concern in a public forum, though sometimes a private conversation can be more helpful for clarity and understanding a situation more perfectly. I am thankful for those that are sincere enough to be willing to speak about issues that concern them both publicly and privately. I appreciate the opportunity to have done so recently with a concerned party about my inability to wear a face mask while fulfilling my duties as a village board member.

To be clear, I care for people and take sicknesses seriously. I have no desire to infect anyone with something that I may have; thus I strive to practice proper personal etiquette in both public and private venues. I do respect science, though I understand that the same data/evidence can be interpreted differently by smart, well-meaning, people of integrity.  

I do hold to the axiom that wearing a face mask for long periods of time (which will vary person-to-person) does not promote good health, as our bodies are designed to inhale and exhale without restriction for optimal function and performance. I certainly respect those that may disagree with me, and I do my best to oblige and wear a face mask when I can as I conduct business in stores etc. where it is deemed necessary and where 6-feet social distancing is not possible and/or clear barriers are not in place.

I do have a medical contraindication to the prescription of face-mask-wearing, which causes me much discomfort.

As far as the premise demanding that face masks are the answer to “slow the spread” of a virus is solid science, only time will truly tell. I do think it has become more political than it should have. Much of it seems to be for optic appeasement and not as much about its scientific effectiveness.

Whatever your opinion is, I respect your right to hold a sincere opinion different than mine and don’t think you are a “bad” person if we don’t see things the same way on this or other issues.

Like I have said previously, I do not like the government’s “over-reaching” restrictions during this whole ordeal and, like you, am looking forward to getting back to a more enjoyable and “normal” existence. I have chosen faith not fear and am trusting my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to grant me daily protection, provision and wisdom.  

I love this village and have hope for a bright future for all that call Rantoul home. Let’s promote unity with maturity and positivity and not foster hate, division and negativity.

Don’t change your convictions unless you decide that you have been wrong, but challenge yourself to work with others in spite of the differences to see positive change.

I enjoy serving our village as a trustee and desire to fulfill my duties safely and with integrity. I would be honored to speak with anyone that would like to discuss this or other issues with me. You can find my contact information via the village website or my church’s website www.maranatharantoul.com.

Mark Wilkerson is a resident of Rantoul and a member of the village board.