States & Mask Requirements

by Emily Buchter

          Carl Smith of Governing: The Future of States and Localities reported that states are cracking down on their penalties regarding face mask requirements. Since the beginning, there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding the Corona virus pertaining to the use of face masks or coverings. Back in March officials stressed that people did not need to wear face masks because they were not effective. After only about a month, President Trump released an official statement that people should wear a face mask in public as recommended by the CDC. 

The policies surrounding the Corona virus became mainly decisions of the individual state governments. Many states decided on the use of face masks when in public while also social distancing. Although a high percentage of people are following the state guidelines, there are still many that refuse. Some states are now making the refusal to wear a mask a crime. New Jersey is making anti-maskers punishable by a fine of $500 or 30 days in prison. Pennsylvania is another state requiring masks and anyone who refuses will be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor of reckless endangerment that can result in death or serious injury. 

In my opinion, this pandemic is too political when the focus should be on the public welfare. A lot of people are still convinced that COVID-19 is a hoax. I believe the pandemic should be treated with caution because it is better to be safe. State guidelines must be obeyed, even if disagreed with. The new penalties will help enforce the use of masks, but are the charges too harsh? What is your opinion on COVID-19 and all it has entailed?

Smith, Carl. “Lawmakers Get Tough with Mask Requirements: Legislative Watch.” Governing, 2020,


12 thoughts on “States & Mask Requirements

  1. I agree with you that the pandemic should be treated with caution and I think it is good that some of these states are starting to punish the people that go against the mask mandate. I feel like the only issue that may come up with penalizing people for not following the law and wearing a mask is there are so many people who claim they have a medical condition and can not wear a mask, and I’m not sure of they can get fined or not for it. They might argue against the penalty and claim that the law is discriminatory towards people like them.

  2. I completely agree with you that the pandemic should be treated for the good of the people, it should not be political. I liked how you brought upon the rules of the CDC. We shouldn’t listen to one state, we should all be listening to the people who really know what they are talking about. I believe that the penalties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are a little too harsh, everyone has their own body and should have the right to wear what they want. I think everyone is being a little too cautious , the only way to fix all of this is with a cure. Until then people should try and wear mask if they want to protect themselves, and try to be as safe as possible for their own health and the health of others.

  3. I think that the pandemic should definity be treated seriously by the public. The guidelines that states have introduced have probably helped increase awareness about the virus and saved many lives. I do think however, states that are forcing people to wear a mask are doing something unconstitutional and taking action that is well above their authority. People in the United States have a right not to follow the guidelines if they choose. With that being said I also believe it is the responsible thing to do to wear a mask in public spaces. It does make me think about the various lawsuits that are happening right now against state restrictions especially those from local businesses.

  4. I agree that the pandemic has become used as a political tool by politicians on both sides of the aisle. Each party has used their stance on coronavirus to rally their followings. This is one of the things that makes our country so insane. How is wearing a mask to protect yourself from getting a deadly virus a political statement? Even though they’re bothersome to wear, they’re entirely necessary to ensure that this pandemic ends. I definitely don’t think it should be up to a politician to decide whether science and objective truth is listened to. We honestly need to take the advice of the experts on this one rather than insert our own political opinions into it.

  5. I agree very much with the fact that the pandemic should be treated with extra caution because there is so much we still do not know about the effects of this virus since it affects everyone in different ways. As someone who works in a restaurant setting, I am faced everyday with people who refuse to wear their masks, even though it is a state requirement. I feel very strongly about this topic because although no one wants to wear a mask every time they leave their house, it is still what is required for the health and safety of those who surround us and should not be taken lightly.

  6. The corona virus should be handled with extreme care and I feel like over the summer people kinda forgot about it. I also feel
    like that it is going to need to run it’s course eventually. I have no problem with people going out people just need to wear a mask and social distance. I agree with the statement that it has become more political than more about safety.

  7. I agree that people should be getting fined and states should take matter to there hands. People need to take caution so everything can get better. The government isn’t caring about the people but the political side. If everyone takes the pandemic serious while taking caution covid where go down a lot. Wearing the mask will help everyone be healthy and safe. People need to care for others and not be selfish while in stores and in public to wear a mask.

  8. I think people need to do what needs to be done in this case wear a mask when you go out so life can go back to normal. It’s crazy to me how different life has become because of this pandemic and at this point I want it to go back to normal, so if I have to wear a mask for a little while it’s not a problem. At the same time, I have had Covid and didnt think anything of it, the flu that i got the year before hit me worse. So I see why people don’t think they need one but if it can help bring and end to all of this i say just do it.

  9. In my opinion, facing jail time for wearing not wearing is extreme. However, I do believe that we need to be taking it more seriously and if jail time is the only way to wake people up then I totally agree. People need to realize that even if the virus isn’t affecting you personally you can still contract, be asymptomatic, and then give it to someone that this virus is life threatening to. Why not be better safe then sorry? Rather than reckless and risk someone else’s life? These are hard times and they call for drastic measures, while we may not agree, we must still keep the lives of other people in mind.

  10. I agree that people should be fined for not following masking rules. This pandemic should not be a political matter, because it is a scientific matter. If we follow masking/social distancing guidelines, we can lower the amount of cases and get back to normal sooner. I do not understand why people are so resistant to wearing masks because nurses and doctors wear masks for 12+ hours a day for their daily jobs. If they can do it, then we can do it. It is not a big deal and it is smart to protect ourselves and others.

  11. I believe that some put up the “mask fight” because they feel like they’re being controlled or brainwashed. They may feel that their rights have been taken and to feel like they’re still in control, they don’t wear the mask. If someone hasn’t been personally affected by the pandemic then they won’t take it as seriously as someone who has.
    Also, there’s other ways (bettering your personal health) to fight against this virus and keep people safe, so some may see that the mask isn’t necessary.

  12. I do agree that the pandemic should be taken serious because it has killed thousands of people and infected millions of people. Some people don’t like to wear the mask because they feel like they’re being controlled by the government or they simply just don’t care enough to wear it. I do believe getting jail time is a bit excessive because we do have freedoms in the our country but being fines I believe is acceptable. I also do agree that we should wear masks to help stop the spread of the virus and to be cautious when going about certain things pertaining the virus.

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