Wear a Mask: Avoiding a lockdown means doing your part

We’ve all heard by now the cry that “masks don’t work!” They are just an infringement upon our rights, some folks say.

Well, even if you are of the opinion that masks do not stem the spread of COVID-19 (they do), or that being asked to wear one in public is taking away your freedom (it is not), it is indisputable that the wearing of masks works in one important way — it keeps our businesses open and our economy working toward recovery. Just across the river, that is becoming a worry.

There was no mistaking the tone Wednesday from Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, who pleaded with residents to be wary of this third surge, which “is much more intense, widespread and dangerous.”

When he tightened the state health order requiring facial coverings within businesses, he warned the next steps could be the closure of bars, restaurants and fitness centers in Ohio on Nov. 19.

“We know that masks work,” DeWine said. “They are the easiest, most cost-effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

And no matter what your opinion on the virus, they are the easiest way to ensure our local businesses are able to stay open going into the holiday season. It is not difficult to imagine the damage that would be inflicted upon our local economy by another round of lockdowns. But if we aren’t capable of doing what we KNOW will help stop the spread of the virus, on our own, DeWine may feel he has no choice but to order them.

If Ohio makes such a decision, it is certainly possible Gov. Jim Justice will be receiving information that makes him believe he may need to implement shutdowns again, too.

Ladies and gentlemen, if doing it for your own health and the health of the people around you is not enough, wear a mask and follow the other guidelines for the health of our economy. It is simply the right thing to do.


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