Rayl’s Ramblings

Of course it’s a choice
Mask mandates are not enforceable.
I agree. In the US of A, it is up to each individual to do the right thing for the common good.
Instead, crazily, this whole COVID-19 threat has become a political issue. I get it, why it has become that, but still boggles my mind.
I don’t want law enforcement, and the legal system, having to deal with a mask mandate. Our legal system is crowded enough without adding mask mandate violations to the mix. I don’t blame officers, or the courts, or the DAs, not wanting to take on that task.
For that reason, it is best leaders just don’t say anything about “enforcing” it. Too many have come out saying they will not “enforce” it, but that’s really a moot point. I don’t know why our incoming DA, Travis Sides, made that such a big deal in a public meeting prior to the election — except to score points with what is a heavily-Republican constituency in the 13th Judicial.
The Washington County Commissioners made it a point in a recent meeting to state they will not enforce restrictions as that county goes to Level Red — noting that it is up to individuals and businesses to make the right choices.
Exactly, it is up to us, not the legal system, to do the right thing in this regard. Isn’t that the epitome of USA citizens having rights? You have the right to make the correct choice, and help stem this tide, or you can choose not to.
A neighboring newspaper had a quote from a local citizen stating that “life is too short to wear a mask.”
I guess, but then you are choosing to possibly shorten your own life, or even worse, someone else’s, by not wearing a mask? It is unlikely anyone is going to have to wear a mask for the rest of their lives, just for the foreseeable future until a vaccine, or vaccines, is widely available.
The governor of South Dakota has steadfastly proclaimed that mask wearing, making the responsible choice, is up to each individual. Absolutely right. Even a mask “mandate” is asking the same thing, for people to make the right choice for the common good. However, people have not made the right choice, and now South Dakota has one of the worse infection rates in the whole world, not just the United States.
No one is being asked to wear a mask from the moment they get out of bed in the morning, to the moment they go to bed at night — or vice versa for those who work the overnight shifts. People are just being asked to wear a mask during those relatively-short stretches when they are at an indoor public place. Not when they are home. Not when they are outdoors, unless at a public gathering. Only when they go into any kind of public place indoors.
It’s not really all that hard, and choosing to do so does not violate your rights. You are actually stepping up to help your fellow human beings.
Who I feel for are all those who have jobs where they have to wear a mask for their whole shift. Now that is tough. I have worn a mask for as much as two hours straight before, and frankly after awhile I did not notice it anymore. Still, having to go for eight hours or so wearing one has to be annoying after a bit.
It must be deflating to see so many people come into your workplace not wearing a mask. It must feel like a slap in the face.
Even Colorado Governor Jared “Recall” Polis resisted for a long time implementing a mask mandate, repeatedly stating he did not feel it was enforceable. He finally was pressured into issuing one as cases rose in the summer, but he was right, it’s not really enforceable.
The point is it should not have to be “enforceable.” The US of A is not some kind of authoritarian country, where people who do not follow such orders can be imprisoned. Ironically, those countries, and other “free democratic” nations did make strides battling the novel coronavirus, by wearing masks.
In the great US of A, people have the freedom to make the right choice in this regard. The ‘Rona does not care your political persuasion, gender, ethnicity, religion, if it can get you, it will.
Study after study has shown that mask wearing, social distancing and limiting gatherings, helps stem the tide. It is not like it will be this way for the next five, 10, 20 years, or maybe not even within the next year.
So why is it so hard to make the best choice for everyone?

Rayl can be reached at [email protected].