A mandatory requirement to wear a face mask during the COVID-19 pandemic could be coming to a large city near you.
More and more cities in the state of Missouri and across the nation are beginning to take a closer look at mandating for all of their residents and visitors coming to their cities to wear face masks as a way to protect everyone from furthering the spread of the coronavirus.
Locally, the Springfield City Council looked at the issue last week, but did not make any decision on the matter.
Joplin’s City Council nearly required residents to wear masks and mandate 6’ distance between people in public after a measure failed with a 5-4 vote. Their mayor cast the deciding vote noting concern on how law enforcement would be enforcing the large volume of calls they could potentially receive. In Kansas City, where there have been more than 2,100 confirmed cases, their council is looking at the issue of masks and data is being discussed on how masks allegedly can help to stop the spread of the virus.
On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went as far as to say that there should be a federal mandate on wearing masks during the recent surge of coronavirus cases. Last Friday alone, coronavirus cases in the U.S. went up by more than 45,000 in just one day. This pushes the total to more than 2.5 million cases, this according to Johns Hopkins University. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is on record for saying that if he was elected, he would require the wearing of a mask in public. Here in the Wright County area, we are extremely fortunate that we do not have an increase in COVID-19 cases. Many of us have been enjoying youth baseball games, events with fireworks on display and dining in at restaurants in recent weeks. Our area is more open than many other areas in our state. At the same time, many of us have made our own conclusions when it comes to wearing a mask. Many of us have also made up our minds when it comes to COVID-19 and the testing for it.
I’ll admit, that while I know COVID-19 is a serious threat, I do have concern that some of the testing is so broad that results appear to be labeled as the pandemic in cases where it might be something else.
In a health department letter for a neighboring county, it noted that symptoms of COVID-19 include “fever, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, as well as a new loss of taste or smell.” When I read that description, I think of a lot of other things a person could be diagnosed to having outside of a COVID-19 diagnosis.
Regardless of how the situation may feel to some of us, we should never underestimate the threat of the pandemic.
And perhaps it is time for many of us to at least take another look at possibly wearing masks in public. As long as cases continue to increase in our state, our local city and county officials may at some point need to revisit a wearing face mask mandate in public requirement. Regardless of what is done locally, many of the cities and counties we may be driving to throughout the state may actually pass a face mask wearing requirement. We will need to be ready for the potential mandates wherever we travel to, no matter what our personal views are on the matter.
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