I can’t require you or anyone to wear a mask. I can’t stop the fighting about masks. I will not be able to adequately answer those who see a mandate to wear masks as an attack on personal liberty.
But I will offer this: Wearing a mask during a pandemic makes you a member of a civil society. It is a small sacrifice in an attempt to prevent your actions from adversely affecting your neighbors.
The freedom that one may feel in not wearing a mask shifts the burden of not spreading the virus to others while, at the same time, jeopardizing everyone else’s health. Wearing a mask is, in part, an act of respect and kindness, not an act of repression.
There is so much throughout society that depends on respect for others, finding common ground, and an understanding of what is best for ourselves as well. In this case, add good community health.
The virus has returned with a vengeance. It may have never left. As we continue to work to find ways to help our community reopen, mask wearing has taken on increased significance. Studies continue to build and affirm that masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Public health officials say that wearing a simple cloth mask is one of the most basic ways to prevent the spread of the virus. We know that my mask protects you and your mask protects me. Yes, it can be hot and uncomfortable, but it is an important step that each one of us can take to protect one another. Going out without a mask is risky behavior.
When you wear a mask you are sending a message to others in the community that you care about them and their wellbeing as much as you do about yourself.
Doylestown has been working to identify ways to help our businesses, our retailers, our services, and our restaurants survive through this pandemic. Your local restaurant needs your support. Order takeout, buy a gift card that can act as an interest-free loan to them, and safely patronize them as permitted.
However, if we are to be successful, the best way to insure that our community continues to reopen in an orderly and progressive fashion, and that our economic community eventually thrives, sooner rather than later, is to make sure it opens in the environment of safety, social distancing, and wearing masks.
So, beyond all the health reasons for wearing a mask, also wear a mask to do your part to see our business community survive as well. Prolonged economic disruption could seriously affect our business community but the solution lies in safe interaction, in wearing masks. Be smart, stay safe, and keep others safe.