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, www.governing.com/next/Lawmakers-Get-Tough-with-Mask-Requirements-Legislative-Watch.html.