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As I See It

Mask mandate shouldn’t be such a big deal

Scott Robert Shaw

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Why are so many so mad about so little? Wisconsin’s Governor has again drawn the ire of his critics by extending Wisconsin’s public health emergency for another two months. Part of that order requires that people wear masks when inside public spaces. That is what is setting off the anti-maskers who call the Governor’s order “illegal” and “a power grab,” even an “unconstitutional, unscientific travesty.” Those reactions seem rather harsh for taking a small step to try to stop the worst virus of our lifetimes. Is it a travesty to tell people to wear a piece of fabric over their face? Is it too much to ask that people make that small sacrifice? The extension of the order comes as the nation tops 200,000 deaths from the coronavirus, as schools and universities shift to distance learning, and as Wisconsin jumps to second in the nation for fastest growing spread of the virus. Can we really afford to returning to business as usual? Keep in mind, this order has no real enforcement power. Police and prosecutors in La Crosse and elsewhere decided not to arrest or cite people who are not wearing masks. No one is going to take you to jail for not masking up. So why is this such an issue? We all want to get through this pandemic, and the fastest way to do that is to take proper precautions, like wearing a mask in public.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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