By Erik Uyemura,
The mandate to wear masks or any type of face cover-ups, such as scarves, bandana and face shields, in public places becomes recommended to the public in order to reduce chances for citizens to contact the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. A majority of people have complied with the mandate after the announcement in order to avoid contact with the virus,
however there are some who do not want to follow. To those who refuse to comply with the mask mandate gave reasons that it violates their freedom or constitutional rights, virus is a not big deal or does not exist, or they find the face cover-ups annoying.
After the face cover up recommendation was announced, it eventually became a standard procedure among citizens to wear facial covers when in public. People are seen with their face covered with masks or any other cover up when they are in public places or workplace. Essential workplaces, such as restaurants, grocery stores and any type of retail stores, require their employees to cover up and ensure customers are covered up as well before entering.
A majority of citizens choose to cover up in public, not just because it is an executive order from the government to expect to comply, it is a standard method to reduce the chances of being infected by the deadly virus or not spreading it to others, especially those who are at greater risk.
However, the recommendation has later stirred a debate among citizens to have their face cover up when the outbreak is still active while others have refused to comply.
In the “Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US” study, written by Wei Lyu, a research associate in the Department of Health Management and Policy, and George L. Wehby, a professor of Health Management and Policy at the University of Iowa and a research associate at the National Bureau of
Economic Research, explained about the mask recommendation issue.
“Mandating public use of masks has become a socially and politically contentious issue, with multiple protests and even acts of violence directed against masked employees and those asking customers to wear face masks…”
In Florida, a male citizen forced himself into a Walmart after employees told him that he could not come in without a mask. Masked employees blocked the unmasked man from entering the store and tried to convince him to cover up. The man pushed employees out of the way, but he tripped and fell. The conflict continued after he was told to leave the store.
In Michigan, 43-year-old Calvin Munerlyn, a Family Dollar Store security guard, was killed after he told a customer at the store to follow the state-mandated face mask. Prior to the shooting, Munerlyn was in an argument with one of the suspects that her daughter needed to cover up and told them to leave and instructed the cashier to not serve them.
Objectors also demonstrated by voicing their refusal to wear masks. There have been a number of anti-mask protests in Canada, parts of Europe and the US.
In Florida, citizens appeared in a West Palm Beach commission meeting to voice their objections on the mask mandate and why.
“You literally cannot mandate somebody to wear a mask knowing that that mask is killing people,” said a resident named Christina Gomez. “ Every single one of you that are obeying the devil’s laws are going to be arrested.”
Butch Dias, a fellow resident, commented, “You already made a decision. You do not care about ‘We the People.’ It’s pathetic. It breaks my heart, because I would die for that flag, I would die for this country and I would die for the Constitution. And you guys are supposed to uphold the Constitution. But, you know what? You didn’t. You let ‘We the People’ down.”
Emily Stewart, a political and business reporter for Vox, wrote an article called “Anti-Maskers Explain Themselves.” In it, a number of people gave their reasons why they refuse the mask requirement.
Stewart wrote about people’s “broad spectrums of reasons” for their refusal to comply with mask recommendation. The people she interviewed said they found wearing masks were annoying or just not convinced the face covers work.
Stewart wrote a 48-year-old Ohio woman named Amy complied with the mask recommendation at first when the government announced it. However, Amy was against the idea out of frustration when the government extended the lockdown and began to doubt that the COVID-19
The ladder also said, “It’s a violation of my freedom, I think, and then also I just don’t think they work.”
Another woman named Jacquline from Wyoming said that no state should not make laws that take away anyone’s freedoms and liberties. She also claimed that it is just to make President Trump look bad and they are causing the problem.
Stewart also wrote that Gina, a real estate agent from Pennsylvania, said that she is not anti-mask, but just against the mask mandate.
“If you want to wear a mask, great. I will never look down on you, have anything bad to say to you, do what you want. But the mandates are what I disagree with and I don’t think are right, especially now.”
For the people complying with the cover-up mandate to avoid the virus problem itself, they are following what they consider is common sense on why they choose to comply with the mask recommendation.
According to the “Considerations for Wearing Masks” page in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, it is recommended to wears masks as “a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the mask coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice.”
The virus can spread to people who are in close contact with one another – within about 6 feet. “The use of masks is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.”
In the “Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US” study, Lyu and Wehby wrote for their conclusion that the evidence states that the use of masks in public had a great decline in the daily COVID-19 growth rates after the mask mandates are issued.
The mask mandate should still be issued since the COVID-19 is proven to be deadly and there are many cases that show it. The virus outbreak has spread worldwide with 26.6M confirmed cases, 875k deaths and 17.7M recovering with three rising. Since the outbreak in the United States, 6.24M confirmed cases and 188K deaths with both rising, the announcement of face cover-ups in public places to prevent the numbers from increasing is heavily required.
Herman Cain, a CEO and activist of the Tea Party, passed away on July 30 at age 74 from COVID-19. Prior to his death, he tested positive over a week after attending a Trump rally in Tulsa, OK without wearing a mask on June 20th.
Before being hospitalized, he posted in a now-deleted tweet about hailing a Trump event in South Dakota.
“Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump,” he said. “PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”
Stewart wrote about Scott Liftman, a 50-year-old Massachusetts man, who read about an Atlantic story, “The Dudes Who Wear Masks, and responded to the mandate.
“I was kind of very skeptical about the whole thing. Is this about government control? Do we really need it? As the science has evolved, I’ve become more in line with the idea that we really should protect ourselves more often than I initially thought,” Liftman said. “It opened my eyes up
to being a little bit more sensitive.”
Jennifer Medina, a nurse aid from New Jersey, said it is ‘immature’ for people to make negative comments about the face mandate. “This is not just for one person; it’s for the well-being of everyone in the United States and worldwide. I think everyone should wear their masks because, not only does it protect them, it also protects people and everyone around them.”