My Rights to NOT Wear A Mask

There are so many controversial arguments regarding whether to wear a face mask during this COVID-19 pandemic. People are arguing that they shouldn’t be forced to wear one if they don’t want to. “It’s my constitutional right to choose if I wear one!” But what if it was choosing between life and death vs. mask or no mask? Would you put one on then?

As of July 6th,  the CDC recommends wearing a cloth face-covering in public settings where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing such as grocery stores and your local pharmacy.

I find this quote rather interesting. When I go to, for instance, Walmart, there are very few people wearing a face mask. Maybe because there have only been nine confirmed cases in the county where I live? Not sure, but it bothers me that people are choosing not to wear some sort of protection. If not for themselves, but maybe to help keep others safe around them? Sure, they don’t have any symptoms, but from what we hear on the media, there is a large number of people that are testing positive and are A-symptomatic. Which means they have no symptoms. And they walk among us.

After some research, I found that Hong Kong as faired very well through this global pandemic in comparison to other places. They have 7.4 million people living there and have only 1200 reported cases and seven deaths. New York City has 8.3 million people, with 217 thousand cases with 18500 deaths. Why?

And don’t go all political on me with an answer. I’m not here for that and refuse to blame politics on any of this.

From what I was able to gather, Hong Kong was the epicenter of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak of 2002. This made them more equipped for the next epidemic. I also credit it to the fact that so many people in that region have to wear face protection when outdoors, due to the high concentrations of air pollution in the air.

Can the government force me to wear a mask?

In short, the answer is yes!

Think of cigarette smoking. The government made a no-smoking rule that is now strictly enforced. If you still smoke, you have to do it elsewhere, right? There is a law that says you have to wear a seatbelt, right? So if you don’t wear it, are you exercising your civil liberties or breaking the law?

When there is a pandemic, the government has the authority to do things that would otherwise be questionable. When the safety of everyone is as risk, they have the power to do what they see fit to keep the majority of people safe.

On the other side of the coin, people would be up in arms if the government did nothing to keep us safe. Essentially they can’t do anything right. If they say you have to wear a mask to stay safe, they are violating our civil liberties, and if they do nothing, they are putting us all a risk. Glad I’m not in politics, there is no way of making everyone happy with any sort of decision.

“I’m disabled and can’t wear a mask.”

The ADA permits a retailer to deny goods or services to an individual with a disability if their presence would result in a “direct threat” to the health and safety of others, but only when this threat cannot be eliminated by modifying existing policies, practices or procedures or permitting another type of accommodation. Whether a customer poses a direct threat is an individualized, fact-sensitive inquiry. If a business does not have a clear policy of turning away customers who refuse to wear face-masks, turns away an individual for that reason, the business must be prepared to identify how/why that individual’s specific, observable, condition/behaviors made them a “direct threat.”

Some are claiming disabilities to get out of wearing a mask. This makes things difficult for people with legitimate reasons for not being able to wear a mask. For example, some people with respiratory problems can have problems breathing with a cover. Many businesses require face-coverings to allow you to shop in their stores. With people making up reasons why they don’t have to put on, it makes it impossible for the ones that have a problem. How are they supposed to shop? Kind of like the ones that go online and get a fake vest for their dog that says they are service animals. It makes it nearly impossible for people whose lives depend on a service animal to shop in safety.

My dad is hearing impaired and relies on lip-reading when talking to others. When in the store, mom has to wear a mask, so communication is at a standstill.

Do you have a constitutional right not to wear a mask?

NO. During a pandemic, you don’t have that right.

People are ranting that they don’t have to wear a mask because they live in a free country. Well, if you go into a store or restaurant that requires you to wear a shirt and shoes, do you claim your right to freedom? Are you going to go to the grocery store naked because no one can tell you what do do? Hello people, get a clue?!

If state governments tell businesses that for them to allow the public to enter their store, the employees and patrons must wear face-coverings, then the company must comply.

Believe it or not, the government agencies are not placing these rules and guidelines to make people miserable. They are trying to keep people safe. This outbreak is dangerous, and not some political move to eradicate the older generation from our population.

Maybe people should ask themselves, “What benefits do I get from not wearing a mask?”

It seems to me that people get themselves in an uproar when they are inconvenienced. The more people that comply and stay home, or if they do go out in public, follow guidelines, the more people we will be able to save.

What is the point of defying the CDC recommendations and what the government is telling us to do if we lose a loved one to this disease? We can’t take back our selfish ways after the fact.

Please think of others before going out in public. You might not care if you contract the virus, but what if you spread it to someone that does.

 

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