West Virginia Governor Jim Justice issued a “mandatory” face covering order that went into effect midnight last night. West Virginians should now wear a face covering when in an indoor public building.
The problem with this directive is it’s not mandatory. If you believe wearing a face covering to protect other people from your possibly infected droplets denies you of your personal freedoms, then you are in luck. Nothing will happen to you.
From WV Metro News:
But even with the order, Justice said there would be no penalties for those who don’t comply.
“If you choose not to wear a mask, there is no criminal offense,” he said. “As far as us hauling you off to jail, well, we’re not going to haul you off to jail.”
West Virginia must have copied Maryland’s face covering order
This is pretty much what we have going on here in Maryland. When Governor Larry Hogan issued a face covering order, he said county health departments and local law enforcement would enforce it. I live in Washington County Maryland. The Washington County Health Department refuses to enforce the order. In fact, early on in the pandemic, it even assisted a local flea market to get around the mandatory closure of nonessential businesses by helping them get reclassified as a grocery store. Even though they do not sell groceries, they were able to open early as an essential business.
That seemed dishonest to me. Both for the flea market and for the Washington County Health Department.
It’s because of the Washington County Health Department’s refusal to perform their assigned duties that so many people in Hagerstown don’t feel the need to wear a mask. I stopped at the Hagerstown Marshall’s Friday of last week. Even though there was a sign on the door stating that they expect customers to wear a face covering, there were a lot of customers in Marshell’s not wearing any.
When I got up to the register to buy a hat that turned out not to fit my giant bulbous head, I asked why so many people were not wearing face coverings. The person running the register told me face coverings are only mandatory for employees. They are optional but encouraged for customers. I knew that was rubbish, but I didn’t say anything. If the Washington County Health Department was doing its duty, things like this wouldn’t happen.
There is a lot of misinformation going around about face coverings
I was watching a live stream on YouTube yesterday. For some reason, the conversation turned to face coverings. Someone said they should not be forced to wear them. They said, “My body, my choice.”
The person running the live stream said it was a good point. No, it wasn’t. It was stupid and grossly misinformed.
You wear a face covering to protect others, not yourself. A face covering is worn to decrease the number of droplets exiting your respiratory system and escaping out into the air. Face coverings don’t eliminate your droplets, they simply decrease them.
Imagine thinking you have a right to transmit your bodily fluids to other people. That’s exactly what people who refuse to wear a mask during a pandemic are saying.