Dear Eaton Rapids,

How are you? Fine, I hope. 

I never thought that I would see the day that regular folks were wearing masks into the bank. That used to be a no-no and a quick response from the police, but during this “mess” (I choose to use “mess” as opposed to “challenging time,” “uncertain time,” “daunting time,” etc.) it has become necessary.   The variety of masks are truly interesting. You have your standard surgical type in a variety of colors; a multitude of bandanas (people are using stuff found buried in their closets); and dust masks that are normally associated with wood working but have taken on a whole new function. All serve a purpose. They protect you.

They also have a down side. They make it difficult to recognize those that you pass on the street or see in the store. They conceal our ability to convey a smile as a greeting. They dehumanize us in a way.

So what do we do? Use your eyes, for they are the window to the soul. Convey to those that you meet that everything will be okay and that you are okay. Smile under that mask because it will be detectable. The wrinkles at the corners of your eyes will give it away. The greeting can still be heard without saying a word.

City Hall is still operating under limited guidelines. Much of what you need can be found at the City of Eaton Rapids website ( If you have a difficult time navigating the website, please call 517-663-8118 and follow the computer prompts to find the correct department and leave a message. It will be returned within 48 hours, except on Saturday and Sunday. This number also applies to water and electrical emergencies or outages.

I think the best remedy is to turn off the 24/7 news feed and take a walk. Listen to the birds sing and harken back to a simpler time.

I bid you peace.

Paul Malewski is mayor of Eaton Rapids.