I am a diehard libertarian. I firmly believe that people have a right to do what they want, as long as that doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. The mask mandate creates a unique situation.
The Mask Dilemma
Do I have a right to not wear a mask? What if I get other people sick? Isn’t the mask mandate about protecting others from myself?
There are a number of circumstances where a mask makes a lot of sense. Any type of public transportation puts a lot of people in close proximity to each other. Being stuck in a building with recirculating air is a situation where a mask makes sense.
Wearing a mask outside does not have a lot of science behind it. Often, I see wearing a mask while driving their cars. That doesn’t make a lot of sense either. Are you trying to protect yourself, from yourself, when you’re wearing a mask while driving in your car?
The really grey area has come up around gyms. In Central Florida, the mandate states that people may take their mask off while working out. Ironically, this is the time when people are most likely to spread the virus. They’re breathing the heaviest with diminished capacity to make good choices.
The Mandates Are Enforced
Recently, Orange County has started to enact surprise raids of gyms to check for adherence to social distancing and mask mandates. There are threats of fines and shutdowns for violations of this. Naturally, gym owners are afraid of this enforcement and have begun enforcing the rules as interpreted from the county.
The result makes no sense.
The situation I am faced with is as follows:
- Wake up and get out of bed.
- Get into my vehicle and drive to the gym
- Wear a mask to walk outside from my vehicle into the gym
- Take my mask off inside the gym when I work out.
When I go to the store, I wear a mask. I definitely don’t like it, but I don’t want the trouble that comes with not wearing a mask. I just want to get on with my day. If I don’t wear a mask, I’m at high risk of someone finger-waving at me about how I’m a murderous idiot. Ugh.
The scenario regarding the gym is a lot different than the one in a store. The result – I’m not going to the gym until this all settles down. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who is also avoiding the gym right now.
The Unhealthy Get Sick
And here’s where the real irony comes in. Most serious cases of Covid-19 are from people who are not in good health already. Physical health provides a buffer against more serious effects of the Coronavirus.
By creating a situation where people don’t workout, more people will become sicker from this virus when they get it. Isn’t the public policy goal is to keep people as healthy as possible? I don’t see the logic behind creating barriers for people to get healthy.
I’m not an epidemiologist. I’m not in charge of public policy. I’m just a guy with a civil engineering degree that makes software for a living. I make an effort to be humble in my opinion about things.
However, that doesn’t mean I blindly follow what I’ve been told. If I’m required to do anything, I need some really good logic to back up why I’m required to do so. I don’t see the logic here. It just doesn’t make sense to me.
Often, I hear “just wear the mask”. No. A good friend of mine once said “Take a stand”. While he wasn’t referring to this situation, the point still matters to me. In the absence of logic to change someone, all that is left is force and compliance.
Tags: coronavirus covid-19 florida logic orange county public policy