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To Mask or Not to Mask? It Shouldn’t Be a Question

By V. Susan Hutchinson

Donald Trump decided to make wearing a face mask to prevent the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus a political issue. You are a liberal, left wing socialist if you wear one and a true Trump supporter if you don’t; however, they will be available to you at his rallies and when you order tickets you must abide by this statement:

“In attending the event, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and waive, release, and discharge Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; Portsmouth International Airport at Pease; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers from any and all liability under any theory, whether in negligence or otherwise, for any illness or injury.”

The takeaway here is if you want to show support for Trump you do so at your own risk.

It’s the same in the voting booth, except it’s not at your risk, it’s at the risk of the entire country.

Kick the Corona

Trump’s horrendous response to the pandemic has been well documented and he has stated he takes no responsibility. Trump won’t do anything at the federal level to address the pandemic – no use of emergency powers to ramp up manufacturing, no federal mandate to keep people from gathering in large groups, to wear masks or keep six-feet apart. Instead, he leaves it to the governors to manage at the state level.

It’s like a game of kick the can.

Containment within the states is inconsistent because of Trump’s inaction at the federal level. Looking at the trend in each state shows that Republican led states, especially Arizona, Florida and South Carolina, whose governors willingly supported Trump’s demand to reopen the economy, are facing record increases almost daily.

As a result of this “managing” at the state level, there are now self-quarantine regulations in many states if you have traveled to a state experiencing high numbers of cases.

And masks? Well, these Trump supporting governors are kicking the can further down to the local city councils to manage. What you end up with is a hodgepodge of ordinances with no standardization from one city to the next.

Take South Carolina. Gov. Henry McMaster urges people to wear masks, but refuses to make it a statewide mandate. The city of Myrtle Beach passed an ordinance saying masks are now required inside all retail and food service establishments. There is a fine up to $100 if you get caught, but so far no tickets have been issued because city officials [PAYWALL] say it will be difficult to enforce and police say if it is reported to them it includes “education” and not necessarily a citation.

So, shake your finger at people not wearing a mask and they will put one on. Yeah, right.

Then there is Conway whose city council passed an ordinance that says masks are only required in essential businesses, which are doctor’s offices, pharmacies and grocery stores. Medical practices have been requiring patients to wear masks since this started and grocery stores have had signs up for months asking people to wear a mask. The sign has been ignored with no consequences even from the store whose rules you are violating.

Why even have an ordinance that can’t be enforced and does not include restaurants and shops? Leaving it up to people to make sure they are looking out for their fellow citizens as well as themselves didn’t work when they re-opened the economy and it won’t work now.

Horry County needs to take a cue from Mayor Lori Lightfoot of Chicago. Five businesses were fined and a party boat shut down this week for violating restrictions she put on businesses in the city.

As my friend in Queens, NY says, “girlfriend ain’t playin’!”

The State Can’t Tell Me What to Do!

Several studies have come out recently that should make people think twice about not wearing a mask. The UK study showed that only 22 percent of people testing positive reported symptoms at the time the sample was taken. That means 78 percent were walking around with the infection and feeling perfectly fine. If they were not masked, they were spreading it to others.

The study in Spain shows that only 5 percent of its population has developed immunity proving that the concept of “herd immunity” does not necessarily apply when it comes to coronavirus. This study correlates with one that was done in Switzerland.

Think about that for a minute. If you get sick there is only a 5 percent chance that you will be resistant to another infection. Coronavirus infections can take weeks or months to recover from even if you are not hospitalized.

If you can get tested locally, it is being reported by people in Horry County on social media that their results are taking seven to 10 days to come back. Imagine being asymptomatic when you take the test and then by the time you get the results you might be in an ICU bed on a ventilator and also spreading it around if you refuse to wear a mask.

And yet people still scream about their rights being violated. There are several videos going viral now showing people raging in stores because they are asked to mask up.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, surprisingly a Republican, signed an executive order requiring masks in public and sheriffs across the state are refusing to enforce it as the number of cases rises daily.

And then there is my nephew’s wife in Amarillo who asked the question on her Facebook page if anyone was wearing a mask because of the executive order. Almost all of the people who responded were of the same mind – don’t tell me what to do! I felt the need to inject some reason into the discussion by saying that not wearing a mask puts vulnerable people like me in jeopardy every time we go out the door, even if we are masked. I ended by saying if I get the virus I will, most likely die from it due to my compromised immune system.

One of her followers laughed at my comment. Laughed as if my dying due to the stupidity and self-absorption of people like her was a joke. This unfortunately is how too many people think. Their lives are being adversely affected so they are going to take it back at any cost, even if it means they kill people in the process.

As long as it isn’t them.

We are better than Trump and the people who think a pandemic will just disappear on its own.

Mask up even though they won’t thank us for saving their lives.

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