We’re not criticizing, we’re not judging and we’re not saying who’s right and who’s wrong.

We are observing.

It’s a bit amazing how entire groups of people either wear masks or don’t wear masks. How some events embrace coronavirus protocols while other events do not.

Cases in point.

Last month the Cochise Education Foundation hosted a fun event in the massive parking lot at The Mall in Sierra Vista. It was the annual gathering to celebrate teachers, bringing together educators from across Cochise County to recognize and honor the best of the best in the profession.

In past years the event has been held at the Thunder Mountain Activity Center on Fort Huachuca. The night has featured a theme and teachers often dressed accordingly. Last year it was “superheroes,” and several of the nominated honorees accepted their award wearing costumes that showed them as “Wonder Woman,” “Captain Marvel,” and other amazing characters.

This year it was a “drive-thru” celebration.

Teachers parked in front of a mobile stage where Superintendent Jacqui Clay introduced guest speakers who announced nominees in each of the categories. Sheriff Mark Dannels announced the “Teacher of the Year,” who briefly stepped out of her vehicle, made a few remarks on stage, then literally drove off.

Teachers who were nominated in each category drove past the stage, with the announcer calling their name, and the “parked” audience usually honking car horns to recognize those being honored.

It was a fun event and organizers were complimented for pulling it off.

Those who attended the livestock auction at the Cochise County Fairgrounds in Douglas last month had a much different experience.

The traditional fair was canceled due to the pandemic. Gone were the food booths, the grandstand events, the midway and barns full of crafts, foods and other exhibits.

What remained was the livestock auction where kids proudly put their animals on display. The event featured a lunch and people gathered in an open barn where the auction was held.

No one — literally — wore a mask. It was as if the coronavirus didn’t exist. People shook hands, sat next to each other eating lunch at round tables and enjoyed each other sitting in the grandstands.

That was also the case in Benson last weekend. The annual Butterfield Rodeo was two days of afternoon and evening fun that featured mutton busting, bull riding and professional roping.

To say there were more cowboy hats than facial masks would be a dramatic understatement.

Few in the audience covered their face and the stands were packed with people.

Again, we’re not criticizing or questioning.

Whether to wear your mask, or not, apparently depends where you’re going and who you’re with.

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