Imagine this: We are currently seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases. In response, local leaders are offering mixed messaging on what to do about it.
I’m being honest when I say I’m not sure how to interpret Gov. Kevin Stitt’s statements Tuesday about slowing the spread of the virus by encouraging masks but not requiring people to wear them. Was it a hedge to please everyone? Is it a low bar we’ve cleared that we’re even acknowledging we have a problem? I think it came off as a halfway point between taking mask-wearing seriously (“It’s this easy”) and dismissing the idea entirely (“We believe in freedoms.”) What you end up with is a message that doesn’t satisfy anyone.
The situation is tinged with a political hue — I’m not naive to why Stitt chooses to hedge — but it’s completely unnecessary. Wearing masks can be to everyone’s benefit if we get through this quickly, and using our collective knowledge about what works, collectively, should be the clear message we hear going forward.
And really, why don’t we just have fun with the issue while we’re here? Imagine masks of all different styles. Make a fashion statement. Get creative and, who knows, it could be its own art movement. That’s a message I could get behind. Just imagine ….
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