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On Nov. 16, 2020, the Brown County Commission opted in to Governor Kelly’s mask ordinance and extended it once. Any mandatory rule that restricts one’s breathing entryways should be treated with skepticism.

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(Editor's Note: This is a portion of the letter that appears in Friday's edition as a paid advertisement. The letter was cut down to be within our word limit guideline for online publication.)

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What does the Hiawatha Community Hospital mean to me? My youngest son was born at HCH, many relatives were born at HCH, many relatives have been cared for at HCH. It is important to me in many additional ways.

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Most people in today’s world rely on a community for practical purposes. The necessities of life rarely come from one’s own hands, but rather from a complicated “web of mutuality,” as Martin Luther King, Jr. once phrased it.

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No tax entanglements! This was the motto of the hospital’s driving force, Dr. Paul Conrad, in getting the donors for building a Hiawatha hospital. Eighteen hundred donors gave gifts to build and equip the new hospital without any tax entanglements.

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It is so very easy to underestimate the importance of quality rural healthcare options until you or the people you love are in direct need of care. I was guilty of taking for granted how accessible and reliable our community hospital is, until I was carrying my seizing infant with blue lips …