Mask up

December 23, 2020


I am writing in response to an article in a recent edition of the Mohave Valley Daily News under the headline “Council rejects renewed mask mandate.”

I find it amazing that given all the evidence in our community and our county, that a mask mandate would be such a difficult task. According to the article there were “numerous pleas from health professionals to bring it back.” These are medical professionals working in our hospitals. They see the situation on a daily basis. They have the most experience in seeing what this virus can and is doing to our community. Why is it so difficult to listen to their counsel and do the right thing?

It amazes me that a few misinformed individuals can wield so much power in our city. The argument that citizens “rights” are being abused by a mask mandate is ridiculous. “no one can tell me what to do!” echo the cries of a toddler. We are told what to do everyday in the laws of our society. It is a law that we wear seat belts. Why? Because it keeps us safer. It is a law that we abide by traffic signals, stop signs, etc., because it not only keeps us as individuals safe, but because it also protects other citizens. It is a law that we not drink alcohol and drive a vehicle. Again, this protects not only us, but those around us. As responsible citizens we accept that the laws are to be followed not only to protect us but also the citizens we share the city/ county/ state with. We, as resopnsible citizens are free to choose whether we follow the laws and know there are consequences if we don’t. But ultimately, there still are laws. And many laws are in place to protect us.

I am aware a mask mandate is not a law, that it is a temporary regulation. At best, it is a recommendation that citizens wear a mask when out in public where they might be exposed or expose others to the virus. My feeling is that by temporarily mandating mask wearing we as a community are saying “Please, have respect for yourself and for your fellow citizens.” What’s so awful about that? What right does that take away? If citizens would voluntarily do this, a mandate would not be necessary. The people screaming the loudest about their rights are the ones we need a mandate for. The rest of us who respect other peoples lives and health already are wearing masks.

Using California as an example for the worst spikes is misleading. If you look at figures (as of 12/16/20), Arizona’s positivity rate is 11.3% (Arizona Department of Health). California’s is 11%. Arizona reported1,034 death per 1 million in population. (Worldometers. info) How can you say their “stringent restrictions” aren’t working? Look at all facts. Our population is much less that California, we have many more rural counties, and yet our positivity rate in fact higher than California. Our death rate is almost twice as high.

Arizona is in sad shape when it comes to this virus. A mask mandate is the least we can do to help our frontline medical workers. Cooperation by wearing mask could be your life or the life of someone you love. Come on people, mask up!

Georgiana Stacey, Bullhead City

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