By Lorena Grajales, News Editor–
This past week, Hamilton County filed a lawsuit against Ed’s Supply Company, after reports of customers and employees disregarding the mandatory mask mandate that was set back in July of this year. According to health inspectors, many employees stated their personal disbelief on the effectiveness of masks. My question is, why should my health and those of others be compromised because of people’s personal opinion during a pandemic? Although it could’ve been avoidable, I’m glad the county is taking measures to actively penalize businesses who aren’t complying with health measures. If there’s one thing that makes me paranoid, it’s seeing people in public pull down their masks once they pass the entrance to a store, or those who place the mask under their nose for convenience or comfort. The mandate should be respected and followed by everyone out in public to its full extent.
There are many reasons why the U.S. is the leading country in COVID-19 cases, with 6.3 million total. One simple reason is that people are selfish. If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard the phrases “I can’t breathe with a mask on” or “it’s so uncomfortable,” I’d be a millionaire at this point. If doctors and nurses can work 12+ hour shifts with multiple face masks, I’m sure we can all endure wearing one for our 30-minute grocery trip, right? At the end of the day, we can’t see who has the virus, and we don’t know where we’ll quite literally come face to face with it. So why not save lives and mask up? Perhaps if I catch the virus, it may not be the end of the world. But what about close family members of mine that are at a greater risk because of underlying health issues? No matter how careful or strictly I follow health regulations, it only takes one “uncomfortable” person to potentially pass it on to my family and me.
Additionally, we have those that feel the need to make everything political. “Don’t be sheep, the government’s trying to control you!” they say. As if you don’t already have a government-assigned identification number that gives them access to your entire life’s information. How would not wearing a mask keep the government from “controlling” us? It wouldn’t. It only causes an increase in cases, people losing their jobs, businesses getting sued and deaths that could’ve been avoided. Wearing a mask is neither taking away your freedom, nor is it even close to “oppression.” No matter how many scientists and doctors come forward to share data proving the efficacy of masks, it seems that that cohort of people will never understand.
And of course, there are those who justify not wearing a mask because their religion will keep them safe and healthy. I’m all for religious freedom, but I just don’t understand how people can be so inconsiderate towards the health of others, in the name of religion. I believe that during this pandemic, we should keep focused on the facts and methods to stay safe, not try to debate on them for the sake of our own community, businesses, family, friends, neighbors, and ourselves.